Yahoo! is teaming with California-based Coupons Incorporated to launch a service that enables customers to find and redeem money-off vouchers using their mobile phones.
"We see mobile coupons as a natural extension of our leading digital marketing platform and a way to turn coupons into a strategic marketing vehicle that delivers value," says Steve Boom, SVP, mobile, Yahoo!
Coupons Inc - which already works with Yahoo! to help companies use online coupons to market themselves and gain business - says the new mobile platform will be immediately available to the 800 plus brands in its network.
Steven Boal, CEO, Coupons, says: "By partnering with Yahoo!, we will extend our customers' reach to a new generation of consumers - especially teens and young adults - in a medium that best fits their lifestyles."
A study released earlier this year by Juniper Research predicts that retailers will have issued almost three billion mobile coupons to customers by 2011, with just under $7 billion of discounts redeemed.
The technology usually involves firms sending unique barcode IDs to customers' handsets. They then receive regular, personalised text messages offering discounts on certain items. To redeem coupons customers present their two dimensional barcode ID which is then scanned at the till using "charge coupled device" (CCD) imaging technology.
Juniper says the technology is cheaper for merchants than paper campaigns and provides a one-to-one marketing opportunity. In addition, mobile coupons have a higher conversion rate and reduce fraud, says the report.