MasterCard Marketplace Overwhelming Offers," which delivers daily deals to iPhone users. Despite its mouthful of a name, savvy shoppers planning on purchasing a big-ticket item in the near future may want to keep an eye on this one.MasterCard recently launched a new mobile application called "
Like the popular Internet retailer Woot (just bought by Amazon), the app provides deeply discounted items, available in limited quantities for a limited time. At 12 p.m. Eastern (GMT - 4:00) every day, a new deal is posted to the mobile app, offering "door-buster" type savings of 50% or more on brand-name products from a network of over 28,000 merchants.
The offers are made available thanks to MasterCard's partnership with e-commerce company Next Jump, which already powers the desktop version of the MasterCard Marketplace website, launched in April.
Some of the past "OO's" (overwhelming offers), as they're called, have included deals like $100 off flights booked via Priceline.com, $50 off anything at TigerDirect.com, $25 off Target merchandise, $100 off Wal-Mart merchandise, $75 off the Barnes & Noble eBook Reader, $50 off digital cameras at Staples, $100 off a Nintendo Wii from Kmart and much more.
How to Play... err... Shop
There's a game-like element to scoring these deals, too. They launch at a given time and sell out fast - sometimes even in seconds, so you have to be quick to win the chance to purchase these items. To get a heads up about what deal is launching when, shoppers can sign up for email alerts that are sent out several hours prior to the OO start time and detail pricing, quantities available and other descriptive info about the product.
And if you're worried that you still might find a better deal by shopping around online, the app has you covered here, too. Instead of purchasing the item immediately from your mobile, you simply "reserve" the item. Of course, to do so, you have to link a MasterCard credit, debit or prepaid card to your account first. You then have up to three days to redeem your reservation.
One important item to note, and a big difference between Woot and this app, is that the discounts you receive are not immediate. Instead, they're provided to you as rebates posted to your MasterCard account. You will actually have to buy the item at full price then wait, usually around two weeks, before the credit is posted. At most, according to the FAQ, this process may take up to 21 days.
MasterCard and M-Commerce
MasterCard seems intent on tapping into the growing m-commerce trend, potentially a $2.2 billion dollar industry by the end of this year according to ABI Research. The Marketplace app is just one of many the company has launched for the device in recent months. It also has MoneySend, a person-to-person mobile payments application, Easy Savings Program, an app that locates nearby discounts from participating merchants, Priceless Picks, an app that lets shoppers share great deals with each other anywhere around the world and an ATM finder application. Unfortunately for Android users, the only app MasterCard has ported to that platform is its one-off app, "Flavours of Shanghai 2010," designed specifically for EXPO 2010.