Visa Invests in TrialPay

Visa (NYSE:V), Greylock’s Reid Hoffman and others are pouring $40 million into TrialPay, which helps companies like Facebook, Gap (NYSE:GPS) and Fandango increase sales through the use of incentives.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company attempts to boost online companies’ sales with promotions and incentives strategically placed at the point of checkout. Specifically, TrialPay offers last-minute incentives that target consumers who need an extra push if they are on the fence.

Visa’s involvement, to be announced later this morning, is unusual. Over the years, the credit card conglomerate has made a few acquisitions such as PlaySpan, CyberSource and Fundamo, but Visa’s only recent investment was in mobile card swiper Square, which allows anyone to accept payments using a cellphone.

TrialPay CEO Alex Rampell said that with Visa’s help, it will be able to not only work with online retailers, but offline merchants as well, giving TrialPay a way to track if someone makes a purchase at a brick and mortar business.

There are still a few kinks to work out. “The question is, how do we send traffic to Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) or McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) or any other offline merchant?” Rampell posed. “We already have access to people online who are buying or thinking about buying something. It would be great if we could could give you 20 virtual coins if you shopped at McDonald’s. But how do we close that redemption loop?”

Investors in TrialPay’s fourth round included Greylock Partners, Visa Inc., T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ:TROW), DAG Ventures, DFJ Growth and QuestMark Partners. Thus far, the company has raised roughly $70 million.