Green Dot will make a presentation this afternoon to explain its new mobile checking account platform.
Last spring, Green Dot acquired Loopt for $43.4 million. Some said that Green Dot prized Loopt's staff, but its also true that Loopt came with more than just people: Loopt had acquired its own fair share of patents.
Loopt was a shopping platform which used the GIS information from smart phones to give its users access to special offers at
nearby stores. Unlike a Groupon or a Living Social, where users register within a metro area and receive offers through email, Loopt recharacterized its account holders according to the immediate physical location. Thus, a user living in Oakland would see real-time offers when he or she walked down College Avenue in the East Bay or when he or she got off from the ferry at the Embarcadero.
A mobile checking account is itself an enhancement to the card's functionality. Nonetheless, the really interesting part will be to see how it incorporates the possibilities of Loopt. Sam Altman, the former head of Loopt, will be one of the presenters.
I expect that Green Dot will seize upon this asset to bring this service to its prepaid card holders. If they do, it will do a lot to energize their brand. No other card can claim to offer "deals." Free is very popular, but "less" is a clear rival in terms of sheer audience. I think its the kind of thing that leads to a larger cardholder base, if only because it will certainly generate word of mouth. It also is likely to keep people around longer, because once you realize that you can get something for less with one particular card then you are suddenly going to look less favorably upon any other prepaid alternative.
The announcement will be broadcast online this afternoon.