RealTime IT News

Comparative Shopping Gets a Boost

Internet credit card company NextCard Inc. launched the next generation of its Concierge e-shopping service, combining its GoShopping! and Concierge tools into a single application.

The company also announced a low-price shopping guarantee for cardholders who use the free comparative shopping app over the holidays.

The new browser-based Concierge, powered by personal Web assistant company Obongo Inc., searches more than 2,600 sites to find the lowest price, get product information and obtain merchant reviews, the company said.

Concierge also automatically completes site registration and fills in online forms with a single click, NextCard said.

To introduce cardholders to the new Concierge, NextCard is offering to refund the difference to any cardholder who uses the Concierge's GoShopping! site to make a purchase and then finds the same product for a lower price elsewhere on the Web.

"NextCard is committed to providing customers with the easiest way to buy anything online," said John Hashman, CEO of NextCard. "We expect that cardholders who use the NextCard Concierge to comparison shop will make more online purchases based on increased availability of information, data security and our low price guarantee."

Concierge, a downloadable app, appears as a bar at the bottom of the cardholder's Web browser or on the browser button. Cardholders can customize Concierge with additional features that include privacy and security alerts, e-mail management and tools for getting stock quotes.

Concierge uses multi-layer encryption technology to keep the cardholder's information private and secure, NextCard said.

The previous service was limited to filling out online forms and site registration. Using Obongo technology, the Concierge e-wallet is now fully integrated with NextCard's GoShopping! Web site, which features e-shopping tools from mySimon, and