JPMorgan Chase has invested an undisclosed sum in GoPago, a San Francisco-based supplier of m-commerce and payments services for local merchants.
Three-year old GoPago has developed a free smartphone application that allows consumers to browse, order, and pay for local goods and services. The vendor provides applications for merchants to build a mobile storefront which consumers can browse and buy from before heading to the high street to pick up their purchases.
GoPago offers merchants analytical feedback on consumer spending behaviour and allows for the promotion of exclusive targeted rewards and loyalty programmes. The application is currently live at over 50 merchants in Mountain View, CA, and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
JPMorgan says its cash investment in GoPago's Series A preferred stock will support the company's expansion into mobile payment services.
Jack Stephenson, director of mobile, e-commerce and payments at Chase, says the bank will offer the GoPago storefront to its merchant base free-of-charge and provide discounts and rewards to Chase cardholders.
"GoPago will allow us to create powerful new value propositions for businesses and consumers," he says. "Brick and mortar businesses will be able to provide a more convenient way for their customers to shop, pay and receive targeted offers on smartphones. In addition, our relationship with GoPago will allow us to provide Chase customers exclusive rewards and offers by leveraging our strong local merchant franchise and GoPago's data and analytics."
Stephenson was hired from PayPal in June 2010 to spearhead the bank's company-wide strategy for mobile devices and Internet payments.
The bank intends to run a trial of the GoPago service in San Francisco in April, says Stephenson, followed by another pilot in Dallas soon afterwards.
GoPago's services will also be marketed to other banks.