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Sallie Mae creates locally-relevant mobile Upromise experience for customers

Sallie Mae has created applications for its Upromise college savings program to help users find places to save money anytime and anywhere.

The program is now available via the mobile Web and an app for Android and iPhone devices. The apps are GPS-enabled so users can click on a participating store for details on how to save, as well as obtain business information including phone number, address and directions.

?Mobile location-based services are a perfect fit for Upromise customers and the company?s value proposition,? said Brenna Johnson, product marketing lead for business-to-consumer ecommerce, Endeca, Boston.

?Upromise allows members to shop and save for college where they live, work and travel?and the Upromise team recognized the emergence of the mobile channel and the growing mobile usage of their customer base,? she said.

?A key element to the Upromise mobile strategy is getting users to their goal as quickly as possible.?

The apps were developed by Endeca, a search and business intelligence software company.

Upromise is a rewards program that gives members cash into an account that can be invested in a tax-deferred 529 plan, deposited into a Sallie Mae savings account, used to pay down a student loan or requested via check.  

Members have earned $600 million to help pay for college by getting money back from their everyday spending.       

The apps offer local deals and promotions. Consumers can share their savings using the ?Share With Friends? feature for Twitter, Facebook or email.

Tackling problems
The cost of a four-year college has increased 72 percent in the past decade, according to Sallie Mae.

Making Upromise available on a mobile platform addresses the issue of finding places to save money anytime and anywhere.

The app relies on location-based capabilities

The apps rely on features such as integrated search, guided navigation, recommendations, company information and directions, which are integrated with advanced location-based capabilities.

The company was set on making the mobile experience fun and tailored to on-the-go members.

Social features such as sharing on Facebook and Twitter, creating Favorites and browsing popular locations ensure that Upromise members have a locally-relevant, intuitive experience wherever they are, per Endeca.

?Saving for college is a high priority, and scary thought, for many American families and adults with plans to go back to school,? Ms. Johnson said.

?Getting a free Upromise membership and using the free apps and mobile site is a great place to start saving at retail locations and sites most of us already frequent to gain cash rewards that go directly into a college savings plan of your choice,? she said.  

?The great feature about these new apps is that users are never inconvenienced. There?s always a convenient, relevant place to shop?and that?s important to mobile users and Upromise members.?

Final Take
Mackenzie Allison is the associate reporter at Mobile Marketer