From Street Fight Mag:
The race to small business customer relationship management is accelerating as loyalty, payments, and lead generation players expand their services and widen their footprint. The latest move comes from FiveStars, a universal loyalty play that picked up$14 million in June from a handful of prominent venture firms. The Mountain View, Calif., company has rolled out a new gift card product aimed at helping businesses transform new customers into returning customers through its POS-integrated loyalty platform.
The company has piloted its co-branded gift card with a handful of small retail chains since December and plans to open the feature to its smaller merchants with the release. Recipients who do not have a FiveStars account are immediately enrolled in the loyalty program, and those who are already enrolled can activate it using an existing account. As recipients deplete the gifted funds, they gain loyalty points, which, in theory, helps the recipients transition from one-time customers to loyal patrons.