Ibotta’s Mobile Payments System Gets Big Test from Chipotle, Gap, Sephora

May 24, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

We know that incorporating rewards into a mobile payments tool is a great way to pull interest in the platform. After all, people love free stuff, and rewards programs in mobile payments systems make it that much easier to get said free stuff by keeping track of the progress toward the conditions required to get it. That makes Ibotta’s mobile payments system a likely hit in the making, and some of the biggest retailers around are looking to test out the system for themselves.

Ibotta actually has a range of partners going in with it at its launch. Restaurants like Applebee’s and Chipotle are in, as are clothiers like Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy. Two of the biggest home improvement chains are in—Lowe’s and The Home Depot—and so is jeweler Sephora. This is just the start of the connection, however, as Ibotta notes that more retailers—and restaurants too—will be in on the action over the next few months.

Ibotta works rather simply; it lets mobile users in on a cash-back system from shopping, and throws in a mobile payments tool that allows for additional potential savings, reports note. Instead of being used for individual products at checkout—which is perhaps the most common version of a rewards program—the Ibotta system offers rewards for the entire transaction.

Better yet, Ibotta offers plenty of reason for retailers to bring the system in too; it allows them to save on processing fees for credit cards, as the transactions go through the app directly.

That combination makes Ibotta a potential powerhouse in the field. After all, there’s reason for the consumer to use it—and use it they have; it’s been downloaded better than 30 million times since 2012—and reason for the retailer to bring it in. If the retailer has reason to bring it in, that’s more places it’s actually useful, and more reason for the consumer to have it on hand. That’s a recipe for big potential success, and one that Ibotta and its users are only likely to see more of going forward.

All the elements a mobile payments program really needs to win are right here, and we should see Ibotta use explode in the months ahead.