Yesterday, Rhode Island based Swipely unveiled a direct marketing platform for small businesses that integrates directly with your cash register. And today, Cartera, based in Lexigton and focused on card-based loyalty programs, announced its own solution to link local deals with existing credit card reward programs.

Though quite different in the specifics, both of these announcements are centered around delivering deals via credit cards, a bet that is based on assuming 1) GroupOn et al aren’t working for small businesses and 2) mobile payment+deals is still a ways off.

Cartera’s offering, OfferLink Local, basically lets consumers earn local rewards with their credit card, rather than just things like airline miles. From the release:

Unlike other local deals that require merchants to fund exorbitant discounts and change point-of-sale systems, OfferLink Local enables merchants to market offers to millions of incentivized consumers that automatically deliver rewards in currencies they care about – miles, points or cashback – simply by using a linked credit or debit card. After highly successful pilot programs with merchant ROIs of up to 600 percent, Cartera is now rolling out OfferLink to local merchants across the country including the Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York City and Philadelphia markets.

Swipely, based in Providence, has been in the card-based deals space since December, and just released Main Street Marketing Manager. It’s a direct marketing tool that enables merchants to send personalized emails to customers based on purchase data.

“Swipely brings online marketing tools used by e-commerce giants offline to Main Street, turning the payment network into a marketing machine that any business owner can use,” said Angus Davis, founder and CEO of Swipely. “We crunch the big data behind millions of transactions across our merchant network to help owners engage customers without becoming technology experts or spending lots of money or time they don’t have.”

I’ll be glad if these and other products end loyalty cards, which I find to be a huge pain. But how long will it be until mobile payment goes mainstream? And when that happens, will Cartera and Swipely be able to move into it? Or will LevelUp and others push them out?

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