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Marketing analysts who say mobile access is the future of loyalty programs with retailers and restaurants are closely watching to see how consumers respond to new mobile apps linking card purchases to rewards credits.

Despite LevelUp’s innovations, some mobile payments experts contend that bar code systems may not work as well as other mobile options like Near Field Communications technology.

“Mobile phones are an incredible utility to allow merchants to get more wanted access to consumers,” Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group, tells PaymentsSource. “But barcodes have fundamental problems.”

The analyst’s personal experience with bar code systems at gyms and retailers has been problematic, Ablowitz contends. He notes that the common practice of dimming iPhones to preserve battery life affects how well bar-code scans work. But he says companies like LevelUp are “making a lot of good progress with apps like these.”

Payments Source, October 14, 2011