Blockchain Beyond Finance: a look at the implementation of technology in rewards and loyalty programs
Blockchain technology, which is tested in multiple industries, has the potential to significantly transform customer loyalty programs.
Companies around the world offer customer loyalty programs to reward customers who make frequent purchases and encourage their "loyalty". Companies can decide what they want to give as a reward: redeemable points, free merchandise, discount coupons, etc.
Deloitte explains that a loyalty program based on blockchain can improve the customer experience by reducing costs, allowing a frictionless system, making the process almost in real time, providing a safe environment and more.
According to IBM:
"Loyalty programs can have multiple companies as partners to serve a customer base.For consumers who manage a number of loyalty programs, blockchain could provide instantaneous redemption and exchange for multiple currencies of loyalty points on a & # 39; single platform With a single digital "wallet" for points, consumers should not look for the options, limits and redemption rules of each program. "
A number of start-ups are the flagship efforts in this area, including qiibee, Loyyal, Vexanium and Loyela.
In February 2018, Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced that its frequent flyer program KrisFlyer would launch a digital portfolio capacity based on blockchain loyalty. Within a couple of months, SIA has launched "KrisPay", the digital wallet will convert KrisFlyer miles into instant purchases, starting from a minimum of 15 miles.
The launch followed a successful proof-of-concept (POC) conducted in collaboration with KPMG Digital Village and Microsoft. The POC involved testing the blockchain product and conducting trial runs with merchants, said KPMG.
The blockchain-based portfolio allows KrisFlyer members to pay for the items of SIA's 18 merchant partners, including gas stations, beauty retailers, food and beverage stores and others.
In September 2016, the Chinese payments network UnionPay collaborated with the technology giant IBM to develop a blockchain-based system for trading loyalty points. He Shuo, director of Electronic Payment Research Institute at China UnionPay, told CoinDesk that the platform allowed "successful exchange of bonus points between banks using blockchain technology, which incorporates trust in transactions."
In February 2018, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten revealed his plans for the development of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency for his current loyalty program – Rakuten Super Points, according to TechCrunch. In his speech to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018, founder, president and CEO of Rakuten Incorporated, Hiroshi Mikitani introduced "Rakuten Coin", which he described as currency without borders. Mikitani said that Rakuten is integrating his ID globally and all his services (Kobo, Viki, PriceMinister, etc.). They will be able to use his blockchain-based currency adding that "it would be able to be exchanged with the fiat currency ".
In August 2018, the loyalty startup of blockchain qiibee entered into a partnership with the Italian Confimprese Retail Association, an association of modern business companies operating throughout Italy. qiibee is a loyalty token protocol that helps brands around the world manage their loyalty programs on the blockchain. With this partnership, the services of qiibee have already been offered to the 300 members of Confimprese, with negotiations in progress.
In September 2016, Minsheng Life Insurance, one of the largest insurance companies in China, in collaboration with BlockApps, one of Ethereum's leading business blockchain development platforms, and ConsenSys, an Ethereum development company, announced plans to develop a appreciation and loyalty of employees based on blockchain program.
In December 2016, Avanquest Software, a global consumer software and app developer, released a new AQ Rewards app based on blockchain technology. AQ Rewards exploits the speed, flexibility and security of blockchain technology with the help of the Bytecent platform to deliver benefits to its users. Users receive digital currency as a reward with Bytecent.
In February 2017, Tech Bureau, a blockchain company based in Osaka, announced that it is offering its Mijin platform to the blockchain application test of the point management solution from Hitachi Solutions "PointInfinity". In an online post, NEM explained: "The" PointInfinity "project framework is to allow merchants to implement point-based and electronic money management systems, where they can design their own membership programs and Point of Point software. Sale ("PoS") for loyalty programs and special offers. "Through the trial blockchain, Hitachi tried to determine if a private blockchain could meet the demands of a high volume transaction system.