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Your data for a deal

By Marcie Geffner ·
Monday, April 25, 2011
Posted: 1 pm ET

Would you trade a year's worth of your credit card transactions data for a discount on a new pair of jeans?

Gap is betting you will.

Or at least that's the idea behind a marketing initiative by the clothing retailer and the Visa credit card payment processing company.

Credit card changing handsTo enroll, you'll have to enter your name, email address, cell phone number, credit card number and billing ZIP code into a Gap website. Then, whenever you complete a "qualifying transaction," you'll automatically be sent a text message you can show at a Gap retail store to get a discount.

A qualifying transaction might be one within a certain ZIP code, at a certain type of merchant, on a certain day or within a certain time period, according to a Visa company statement.

A disclaimer on the Gap website explains that the number of promotional messages is limited to no more than two per week, and that consumers who sign up might also get nontriggered messages from Gap and its associated brands. Restrictions apply, and a return text message can be sent to opt out.

Moreover, the website states:

By participating in Gap Mobile 4 U and clicking "I AGREE," you understand and agree that your historic (up to 13 months) and future transaction history with Gap and other merchants may be accessed from your enrolled Visa card account, used by Visa to create a profile, and used for the purposes of providing you with offers and messages fueled by insights into your interests, purchase behavior and other relevant criteria.

Translated, that means Gap and other merchants can access all of your Visa transactions in the last year as soon as you sign up for this program. All your future transactions can also be accessed. The data will be used to make a profile of you, and that profile will be used to send marketing messages to you through your cell phone.

Gap was the first -- but likely won't be the last -- retailer to offer this type of program since Visa last week announced plans to make the service available to retailers nationwide.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

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