And from the rest of the world…

Today I want to share with you quick on some interesting news that is happening overseas. There has been some interesting developments, especially with the use of QR codes. These are 2 dimensional codes or also known as matrix barcodes.

You can read more about them on Wikipedia.

A newly released iPhone app rewards users with cash and exclusive money saving offers just for checking in to certain high street stores and restaurants. The Quidco iPhone app is the UK’s first check in for cash tool, giving consumers all of the money saving offers available nearby including vouchers, barcode vouchers and in store cashback deals. Users who enter certain restaurants and high street stores and check in are presented with cash incentives and other offers. The app works by using GPS technology to instantly show users nearby deals.

Traditionally, cashback sites such as http://www.quidco.com have been used for online shopping. Instead of going directly to a retailer’s website, consumers visit a cashback site and look for the retailer there. Cashback offers and voucher codes are displayed for each merchant, and by selecting one, shoppers are then taken to the retailer’s website to shop as normal. Since the merchant knows you clicked through from the cashback site, the merchant pays a commission to the cashback site, which is then passed on to the consumer as cashback. Often, instant discounts using voucher codes and printable vouchers for use in stores are also available to online shoppers.

The Quidco app, created by the UK’s largest cashback and voucher codes website, is bringing a whole to life to the cashback tradition, by displaying the offers available to users when they are out and about. Now when consumers are in the vicinity of their favorite shopping spots, they can receive instant discounts, and simply show the voucher code or barcode from their iPhone screen at the point of sale. Consumers may register a debit or credit card on the app or Quidco website and receive cashback by using it to pay while in the store.

The app’s check in function, which is currently available in over 12,000 locations in the UK, rewards users with cash or bigger offers than previously shown when selected while inside the store or restaurant. The cash is paid into the user’s Quidco account and can be withdrawn twice monthly.

Hannah Green from Quidco said, "If you’d like to spend a little less money at the pub or shops, the Quidco Mobile app is for you. Not only does it stop you having to print off and carry around countless store or restaurant vouchers, but it also rewards you with cash and big exclusive offers in return for checking in to certain locations.

"Quidco has long been known as a nice little earner for members. Shopping for clothes, groceries, insurance and mobile contracts via the site allows members to earn hundreds of pounds in cashback. Given our generosity, it made sense to launch an app which takes cashback even further – allowing you to earn money for free."

Companies already signed up to offer exclusive deals and savings via the Quidco iPhone app include high street retailers such as Debenhams, restaurants and cafés such as Yo Sushi and Esquires Coffee, as well as gyms and travel agents.

Typical cash offers available right now include:

*25p reward for checking in at Barracuda bars on Friday 3 – Sunday 5 June
*25p reward for checking in to Gap on Saturday 4 June and Sunday 5 June only
*25p reward for checking in to Debenhams on Saturday 4 June and Sunday 5 June only
*25p reward for checking in and reviewing offers at Carphone Warehouse stores
*20p reward for checking in and reviewing offers at Halfords
*15p reward for checking in and reviewing offers at Majestic Wine
*10p reward for checking in and reviewing offers at New Look
*10p reward for checking in and reviewing offers at Thorntons
There are also exclusive offer check ins at:

* New Look
* Majestic Wine
* Hotel Chocolat
* Crabtree & Evelyn
* Charles Tyrwhitt
* Old English Inns
* Crepe Affair

The Quidco Mobile app is available to download for free from the App store.

QR Barcodes, used as a marketing tool, is an emerging trend in big-box retail and sales environments. Retailers such as Best Buy and Lowes introduced QR Barcodes late last year as a way for consumers to gather basic information. The automotive industry has been slow to implement QR Barcodes for consumers due to the lack of inventory integration, lead generation, and mobile display networks until now.

In late March, 2011, Dealer Uplink LLC launched the beta version of its Quick Display Network (QDN) and its turnkey Software as a Service (SaS) for Auto Dealerships to generate QR Barcodes. The technology was tested at select automotive dealerships in Central United States with great success and in May of this year launched nationwide. Dealer Uplink provides the only QR Barcode software in the automotive industry using the Quick Display Network (QDN) to generate additional leads and newer customers. Using less effort and marketing dollars, they help capture the next generation of auto buyers. Dealer Uplink leads other turnkey software solutions looking to help auto dealers tap the Smartphone and mobile markets directly using QR Barcodes.

George J Lamelza III, President and CIO said “only a few companies are looking into the use of QR Barcodes for Auto Dealerships and their approach is proving a link to something the consumer already has access to which lacks innovation and solutions. Our Quick Display Network (QDN) provides key essentials for consumers giving dealerships a way to generate leads while providing an interactive experience with the vehicle.”

While many auto dealerships are starting to put QR Barcodes into their advertising and marketing, the basic technology doesn’t give way to engaging the consumer. This next generation consumer continually demands more buying decision tools involving quick mobility access. The Dealer Uplink team has used their experience to build an advanced solution for automotive dealers.

CEO Jay Martinez said “Our team has a few decades of experience in the automotive industry with respect to trends in emerging technologies. We are constantly innovating around the idea that QR Barcodes are more than a novelty item as a link to a website. Our vision is for QR Barcodes to become the new powerhouse; used as an effective information and lead generation tool which captures the next generation of buyers."

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