News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
650-329-2607
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301

9/15/2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE 09/15/2010
Subject :

City of Palo Alto is Bringing in the Bling!
City Now Accepts Bling Nation as a Form of Payment
Contact : Thomas J. Fehrenbach, Manager, Economic Development    650-329-2604
    thomas.fehrenbach@cityofpaloalto.org
Mary Placido, Bling Nation    415-274-7902
Palo Alto, CA – Bling Nation, which offers mobile tap-and-pay point-of-sale services by uniting consumers, business and financial institutions, secured support from two new city municipalities today -- the City of Palo Alto, Calif. and the City of Lamar, Colo.  Residents of each city now can use Bling Nation's tap-and-pay system with their mobile phones to pay their utility bills and long-term parking, as well as parking fine fees for those in Palo Alto. 

In addition, the City of Palo Alto and the Chamber of Commerce are partnering with Bling Nation to develop a "shop local" marketing campaign, which encourages residents and businesses to invest in the community.  The City of Palo Alto also plans to add Bling Nation payments in the coming months at other city locations, such as the Palo Alto Golf Course, city libraries, community centers and various museums. 

"As a Palo Alto company enabling other local companies to offer consumer convenience, Bling Nation is a perfect fit for what we are trying to do with our 'Shop Local' initiative," said Thomas Fehrenbach, the City of Palo Alto’s Economic Development Manager.  “We continue to look for ways to connect local businesses and residents within our community by supporting innovation and value-added service offerings.  Bling Nation’s approach acknowledges the interdependence at the heart of community by providing reciprocal benefits to businesses and consumers.”

“The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce also welcomes Bling Nation to the area and supports the mobile payment opportunity, as well as the reward system Bling Nation enables," said Paula Sandas, CEO of Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce. "Retailers want to build loyalty among their customers and Bling Nation's technology combined with the local shopping focus is a bonus for Palo Alto shoppers and merchants.”

Bling Nation has had a strong impact in the Palo Alto area since it began its introductory program with PayPal at the end of July.  Merchants are looking to take advantage of Bling Nation’s lower transaction rates and opportunities for compelling loyalty program offers to encourage repeat business.

“In Palo Alto, we have seen a tremendous surge in interest and participation since we launched a little more than a month ago, and the support from the city is a huge endorsement for us,” said Meyer Malka, CEO for Bling Nation. “Shop local initiatives are a core tenet for Bling Nation, so to partner with the City of Palo Alto and the City of Lamar on this movement is a tremendous honor and privilege.”

To use Bling Nation’s mobile tap-and-pay system for city services, a consumer simply picks up a BlingTag from any of the local participating businesses, and links it to their local bank or PayPal account for those in Palo Alto (www.blingnation.com/paypal). The BlingTag is a quarter-sized microchip sticker that adheres to the back of any mobile phone to enable transactions.  Since BlingTags do not store any personal information, they offer more security than traditional credit/debit cards and reduce the risk of identity theft.  Once the BlingTag is tapped to the merchant’s Blinger transmitter for a purchase, customers also receive a text message payment confirmation with each transaction.

About Bling Nation Bling Nation mobile payment services connect local financial institutions and businesses, allowing customers to use their mobile phones to tap-and-pay for purchases and receive text account balance and transaction confirmations at the point of sale. Businesses and financial institutions eliminate payment processing middlemen, while differentiating their services and supporting community “shop local” programs. For additional information, visit www.blingnation.com or follow us at www.twitter.com/blingnation.





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