December 11, 2012, 10:43 AM

InComm buys Adility to bring the web and mobile in-store

Consumers can use retailer mobile apps to buy and activate prepaid cards and digital coupons.

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InComm, a gift card and prepaid debit card product and transaction services company, has acquired Adility Inc., which markets a platform for digital prepaid products and coupons with a network of more than 500 mobile apps and online publishers, the companies report.

InComm enables the sale of prepaid and gift cards at than 400,000 retail locations and helps retailers build prepaid card displays in stores. The Adility platform provides retailers and brands with a mobile method for activating prepaid products, such as gift cards, in retail stores via the stores’ existing point-of-sale systems. The platform also enables the distribution and management of digital promotions and single-use coupons.

Both companies charge transaction fees. They declined to reveal the exact fees but describe them as nominal.

Here’s how the two companies’ offerings will work together. In one scenario, a prepaid product, like a virtual gift card, can be provided to a consumer when she scans a QR code or texts a short code while in a retail store. Then, that retailer’s branded mobile app, part of the Adility platform, displays the product. The consumer shows it to a cashier, pays the cashier, and the product is activated via the retailer’s existing point-of-sale system.

In another scenario, a brand or retailer provides a coupon code to consumers. A consumer takes his smartphone or printed coupon code to the retailer and purchases the product. InComm’s point-of-sale activation technology marks each coupon as used so it cannot be redeemed more than once.

“Brands and retailers can now mimic manufacturers’ market development funds for digital advertising, leveraging single-use codes by providing an exact quantity of codes for various advertising channels online,” says Thomas Cornelius, president of Adility.

Together, Adility and InComm will help retailers and brands use multiple touch points, whether online, mobile or offline, to generate increased sales at retail locations, the companies say.

“This acquisition will allow InComm retailers to capitalize on the increasing share of web and mobile-influenced commerce,” says Brooks Smith, president and CEO of InComm. “It demonstrates our commitment to expand distribution of digital promotions for our partners and complements InComm’s digital distribution capabilities that continue to transform the shopping experience.”

Adility focuses on the influence the web and mobile have on store retailers and brands, Cornelius says.

“InComm has one of the largest retail networks in the country, and a fantastic team with a track record of delivering innovative solutions to their retail partners,” he adds. “Through our retailer-specific platform, Adility provides the ability to expand in-store sales to a completely new category, offering targeted and measurable promotions that serve the interests of their specific customer base. InComm now provides retailer-branded mobile apps to activate and sell digital prepaid products, tickets and other digital transferable values in retail stores.”

Cornelius will join InComm’s executive team as president of Adility, and will focus on the convergence of online and offline sales, focusing on Adility’s platform and engineering team.

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