LevelUp, Heartland Partner to Grow Mobile Solution

March 25, 2013

A national rollout of LevelUp’s mobile payments solution will receive a boost from an agreement announced late last week between the Boston-based payments startup and processor Heartland Payment Systems. LevelUp combines a mobile app that consumers can use to pay with their device at the POS by scanning a QR code (the company is working on other acceptance technologies as well) with a loyalty platform merchants can leverage to offer promotions, coupons, membership programs and more. LevelUp, since it was founded in 2011, has managed to establish a significant foothold with merchants and consumers, but additional growth was going to require some help, according to Chris Mahl, LevelUp’s chief revenue and strategy officer.

“The biggest challenge facing mobile payment companies right now is scale,” said Mahl. “LevelUp has been able to reach 1 million users and 5,000 merchants relatively quickly, but we need even wider consumer and merchant adoption before LevelUp hits the mainstream. Our partnership with Heartland Payment Systems will allow us to fire up our growth rate as we begin a phased roll-out with Heartland’s impactful sales force selling LevelUp and our white-label solutions to businesses and consumers across the country.”

In addition to acting as a reseller to its processing clients, Heartland will make its multi-site authorization and settlement network available to LevelUp, which will increase the mobile solution’s transaction capacity. The companies also said they will subsidize the cost of developing white-label versions of the LevelUp app for midsize-to-large merchants that switch to Heartland or extend their agreements.