While customer loyalty programs are popular with retail, travel and other consumer brands, implementing them comes with multiple challenges. Companies that sign up to roll out a service must first navigate a complex and slow onboarding process with the financial institutions backing their program. Once signed up, they face the ongoing hurdle of keeping customers active in the program. Nearly $100 billion worth of points remain unused annually, which translates to missed opportunities to engage consumers and a balance sheet liability when compared to the cost of marketing and maintaining the program.
Global technology consulting and services company Mindree recently applied its digital expertise to introduce two solutions that, together, revolutionize loyalty programs by increasing the rate of redemption by consumers and streamlining the tedious merchant onboarding process for banks and payment service providers.
To help consumers consolidate their rewards programs and to help brands win back customers, Mindtree developed $wap, a blockchain-based loyalty exchange platform in which customers can redeem reward points across providers for goods and services. Companies that enroll in $wap enter a network where points can be shared or pooled by consumers. As a result, customers can pay for goods and services at any of $wap’s vendors with the ability to split up payments using points accumulated over multiple loyalty cards. (Translation: You no longer have to rack up a large number of points to start benefiting from a loyalty program.) $wap can leverage geolocation search to identify nearby vendors that accept reward points and offer intelligent suggestions for which loyalty card to redeem at member brands. The platform also allows customers to manage their various accounts and transactions as well as transfer points to friends or family members—all through one interface.
Mindtree also revolutionized the financial onboarding process for financial institutions with another blockchain-powered platform that introduces a fast, seamless system for acquirer banks and payment service providers to engage with new businesses. A process that can take 20 days is cut down to hours.
Both of these solutions are built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open source enterprise blockchain framework. For $wap, the underlying blockchain technology provides merchants with smart, contract-driven points of exchange, an easy onboarding process into the network, as well as real-time reflections of the earn and burn for loyalty points. To speed the process for the financial institutions, Mindtree is leveraging Hyperledger Fabric to bring together all the stakeholders on one platform which allows acquirer banks, verifying agencies, and prospective merchants to share documents and data in a protected, private environment.
The Hyperledger team has worked closely with Mindtree to document the details of both solutions and how they address the needs of different players in the customer loyalty process. In both cases, blockchain serves as a common platform that allows organizations to trigger transactions and verify information in whole news ways.
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