LevelUp declares payment war, kills interchange fee for merchants

LevelUp, a Boston-based loyalty and payment startup, is laying down the gauntlet to other payment competitors by doing away with processing fees forever in what it calls a bid to achieve “Interchange Zero.” It will only make money from selling offers and loyalty services.

SnipSnap scans and displays printed coupons with mobile app

SnipSnap, a new Philadephia start-up, is giving people a way to take a picture of a printed coupon with an iPhone app and display it at check-out. The app help consumer unlock a lot of the value in printed coupons that go to waste over time.

Forget reward points: AmEx gives users Farmville cash

American Express is teaming with Zynga on a reward program that will link offline spending on its Serve pre-paid cards to in-game rewards in Farmville. It’s an ambitious attempt at boosting the reach of AmEx’s Serve product and tying real-world spending to online virtual rewards.

Foursquare gears up to make money with new revenue chief

Foursquare is getting its revenue story in order and announced it has hired Steven Rosenblatt, the former director of advertising sales and strategy at Apple’s iAd. Rosenblatt will serve as Foursquare’s chief revenue officer and will lead the company’s new ad products coming out this summer.

Evernote & Pinterest just had a baby: Enter the new Springpad

Springpad has long been compared to Internet note-taking sensation Evernote, but starting today Springpad will likely be compared to another darling of the startup world, Pinterest. On Wednesday Springpad evolved into its third iteration, transforming the information capture service into a social networking engine.

Deal alert: MacUpdate’s December bundle impresses

The most recent MacUpdate bundle boasts 11 titles for $49.99, including one of the best diagnostic tools money can buy for your Mac, a terrific email client for power users, and a classic RPG for Mac users with Skyrim envy, just in time for the holidays.

How American Express could be the monster of local deals

The more I see of American Express, the more I think it stands a chance to be a major player to watch in the local deals market. If AmEx can execute, it could show many of the deal companies how commerce, loyalty and offers are done.