Offer management platform Fanminder has been acquired by merchant account and POS services provider Total Merchant Services (TMS). TMS provides a range of services to local merchants, but essentially its a payments acceptance platform.
The acquisition price wasn’t disclosed.
Fanminder began as an SMS-based loyalty marketing tool for SMBs in 2010 but evolved into a more specific offer management system that guides local merchants through offer creation and distribution. Distribution is both mobile and social.
Fanminder also tracks in-store redemption. Fanminder describes itself as a “multi-channel mobile marketing platform.”
The company has done a nice job with its offer-creation wizard that helps SMBs generate more interesting offers and distribute them in a couple of clicks, including to various social media sites. Each offer or promotion also gets a dedicated landing page. The video below demonstrates the offer-creation process.
Currently Fanminder has two pricing tiers (free and $30 per month). The specific pricing could change but TMS will maintain a free and a premium model going forward.
I spoke with Fanminder’s Paul Rosenfeld and TMS CEO Joe Kaplan. Both are Intuit alums and knew each other there. They were obviously very bullish on the combination of their two companies’ capabilities.
Beyond offers and promotions they described a more expansive vision for Fanmider and its integration with TMS tools and services. The 1.0 version is like a CRM system. Farther out on the horizon is expansion into general SMB marketing and customer acquisition. TMS sees itself offering a more complete suite of SMB presence management and marketing services.
One way to see this acquisition is in the larger context of banks adding in promotions or loyalty marketing capabilities to their card offerings (e.g., Amex, BofA). However Rosenfeld distinguished the TMS-Fanminder acquisition from those situations by arguing that TMS is solely focused on the merchant and not the consumer. So there’s no “conflict of interest.”
Another way to understand this is as part of the much larger movement to connect online and offline marketing capabilities and “close the loop.”