Groupon debuts Groupon+, voucherless meal deals with Visa and Mastercard

09-07 21:00

Restaurant deals are some of the most popular offers on Groupon , the platform that lets you buy discounted experiences and goods from retailers near you. Today the company is launching a new service to help promote that vertical more. Groupon+, as it is called, will let people use Groupon meal deals, and if they pay for them with their Visa or Mastercard, they will get 30 percent of the value of the deal back to their accounts.

Groupon+ will initially be available in 23 U.S. markets and  1,500 particip ating local restaurants and “other neighborhood favorites.”

Groupon+ is the latest move from Groupon in what has been a long series of ups and downs for the company, both in its food and wider business. The company — once a trailblazer in the world of “daily deals”, time-based offers on services local to you — has been downsizing its operations, particularly internationally , a its business has moved on from its initial hype and to avoid going the way of many of its competitors: down and out of business.

Groupon itself has managed to stay afloat amid that drama, and has even shaped up to be a consolidator of sorts, snapping up its once-arch rival, LivingSocial,for a song.

In the food business, Groupon has long held ambitions to develop its relationship with restaurants into a bigger business, covering deliveries, point-of-sale services and more. Some of that, too, has been moved away from the company: Breadcrumb, a POS service it acquired, was sold last year to Upserve.

“Being the daily habit in local means making the saving experience much more convenient for both customers and businesses,” said Aaron Cooper, president of North America, Groupon, in a statement. “With Groupon+, diners sign up once, add cash-back offers to their credit or debit card, pay and save at their favorite restaurants without any additional hassles.”

More to come.

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