Mobile phone operator, Telenor, has purchased Liquid Barcodes, the largest provider of mobile coupons in Norway today. It makes Telenor one of the leading voucher companies in the country.
Telenor now has bit of a monopoly in Norway, with it already holding a 51% controlling stake in Valuecodes. The firm’s head of digital services, Svein Henning Kirkeng, believes his company’s new status will give it a strong foundation for further expansion.
"We believe mobile coupons and similar loyalty concepts have considerable potential, and we want to take a strong position starting with the Nordic region," he said.
The voucher industry in Norway is still fairly immature with legislation allowing such marketing practices only coming to pass in 2009. The new Marketing Control Act meant the general ban on promotional gifts was repealed.
There’s a growing trend by mobile operators to dabble in the voucher sector. In the UK O2 has Priority Moments and Vodafone recently increased its shares in Vouchercloud to roll its mobile app out into other European countries.
Telenor established Valuecodes with Payex in 2010 with a similar idea in mind. It wanted to position itself in the mobile coupon value code market and with the purchase of Liquid Codes, Kirkeng thinks it will drive the company further forward.
“Liquid Barcodes will bring valuable expertise and experience that makes the development of mobile loyalty concepts even more relevant for brands and retailers,” he revealed. “Telenor will now take an even stronger position within this area."