Niagara University students will soon be returning to the Buffalo-Niagara region for the commencement of the fall semester and, when they do, many will have mobile access to NU's preferred merchant program.
Vidappe, a location-based mobile application developer, will provide NU students and employees with an opportunity to receive real-time notifications when they are within close proximity to a vendor that participates in its preferred merchant program. "Preferred merchants" offer NU students in possession of a current university I.D. card at least a 10 percent discount (or the equivalent) on goods and services. The app also furnishes a full list of all participating businesses and directions to their locations.
The free app is currently available on iPhones (3GS and above), iPads, iPods and devices operating on Android software 2.2 or higher. It can be downloaded from iTunes and/or the Android Market.
"We saw this as a great way to get our students better acclimated with the communities around them - and save money at the same time," said Fred Heuer, Niagara University's assistant vice president for marketing. "It's helpful to them and it's also beneficial for our preferred merchants because, instead of our students having to print something out and go in search of a business, they will now receive notifications on their phones whenever they are physically near a participating vendor."
More than 60 goods and service providers are part of NU's preferred merchant program, ranging from restaurants and hotels to salons, spas and auto repair shops.
Vidappe was created by Star Li, who conceived the company's business plan during her senior year at Cornell University. Since its launch on June 15, Vidappe has forged relationships with American Express, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and many others.
To learn more about Vidappe, visit www.vidappe.com.
For more information on Niagara University's preferred merchant program, visit www.niagara.edu/pmp.