Foursquare wants to keep its location-based service fresh by offering the most up to date POI (points-of-interest) data possible and in an attempt to ensure those POI numbers keep rolling in the company on Wednesday announced a new verification process for businesses that makes it easier for them to hop on the company’s system and get verified.
In the past businesses would have to send a verification request to Foursquare using the US postal service, then wait around for their documentation to be verified, an odd request given the technology based nature of the company. Because of hand requested materials and use of the post office it would take three to four weeks simply to have a business verified.
Under the company’s new plan a company can simply pay a $10 processing fee and get verified immediately. The new verification system is currently only available in the United States.
In the meantime the move leads me to question whether Foursquare initially made the process so cumbersome in anticipation of charging a fee in the future. Now the company can claim they worked to create an easier system which warrants a small processing fee. With this announcement I highly suspect that Foursquare competitors will soon begin offering the same type of verification at no charge in order to attract businesses.
For some small business owners however the $10 will be a small price to pay since once verified they can add coupons and specials to their Foursquare location, coupons and specials that are then offered to customers when they check in at the businesses location.
Do you think the $10 charge is a fair price to pay for immediate Foursquare verification for businesses?