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Exhibitor Focus

Apr 01, 2011

Combining Loyalty Cards in One Place

Apps That Promote Shopping

Arlene Hauben

With the number of loyalty cards reaching critical mass, it is time to address the stuffed wallet situation. About 75 percent of consumers use loyalty cards but can’t find them when they are needed and may miss out on free deals and discounts, according to surveys by Juniper Research.
“Stepping beyond a piece of plastic with an account number and having the ability to automatically identify and reward your customer will bring personalization back to retail shopping and commerce,” said Bruce Burke, director of business development at iPayStation. “Having premium services and capabilities will separate merchants from the pack and attract more consumers and dollars.”
For the consumer, loyalty card data captured on a single form hastens transactions and makes shopping more convenient. For merchants, loyalty apps are creating exciting marketing opportunities to be in touch with the customer. 
From simple cards to sophisticated mobile platforms, there are some fascinating programs out there that combine loyalty information in one place – capitalizing on the captured data and the pathway to the consumer. The competition in this niche market is heating up. Let’s take a look at some of the innovations. 

Universal Club Card

On the simple side of the category are cards that combine a bunch of loyalty cards in one place. Just One Club Card (www.justoneclubcard.com) lets the consumer combine all of their loyalty cards on one card through a simple web application. The user enters the bar codes from all the loyalty cards and stores the information online. Then, a single card is generated which has all the bar codes on it, which the user can cut out and keep in their wallet.

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Just One Club Card has teamed up with KeyRingThing to let customers order a laminated version of the all-in-one card or a key ring tab. This simple solution combines up to six barcodes onto one card that is carried in the wallet. The customer can choose either a card or a key ring tab. 

Mobile Applications Ring In
Mobile applications that store and organize loyalty data go further by getting into customer relationship management. Mobile apps are becoming popular in all aspects of money, and loyalty is no exception.
One mobile solution that puts loyalty card information on your mobile phone is Punchh. It harnesses the power of social networks and referrals to get more people into restaurants. Punchh measures loyalty results and claims to deliver up to 4 times the returns of regular loyalty programs at a quarter of the cost.
Punchh is set up to track and analyze in real-time how the loyalty program is performing, and how customers like it. Retailers are able to custom design marketing campaigns and collect valuable feedback from their customers. 
CardStar, another mobile app that consolidates loyalty cards, incorporates a destination social app.  The app automatically performs a check-in via Foursquare when users utilize their loyalty card.
These new utilities are designed to read and store bar codes on loyalty cards from hundreds of retail companies nationwide. The apps are all about generating business by pushing virtual coupons based on customers’ shopping habits. At the check-out counter, the shopper’s mobile phone carries all the numbers.
Loyalty card mobile apps are opening up all kinds of marketing opportunities for merchants to relate to their customers. Key Ring Rewards Cards (no relation to KeyRingThing) is a free app for smart phone users that adds unlimited cards into your phone by scanning or manual entry. Users get coupons sent to their phones that match with the cards that they have entered. 
For example, one customer added her CVS ExtraCare loyalty card to Key Ring and received an offer for 10% - 75% discount on Prescription Drugs. The coupon was loaded on the mobile wallet displaying her Member ID and other pertinent information. The offer is good until the year 2030.  The CVS Card View takes the consumer to the website, where there are choices for a place for notes, Find a Location, and a Community board with information about deals, coupons and rewards. 
Key Ring has an option to share for free with other family members when you register and log in your information via the web. This service stores the content in case you change phones – so you don’t have to re-enter.
“The Key Ring platform was developed for marketing capability, enrollment into loyalty programs, and sharing of high quality content. Merchants can make relevant offerings to specific consumer categories,” said Chris Fagan, CEO of Mobestream Media, parent company and developer of Key Ring. “The app’s overall usability and quality content is the sweet spot in our market.”

Modules for Loyalty
Some mobile wallet apps are being designed with modules built specifically for loyalty and reward accounts. iPayStation’s Nucleus mobile commerce suite includes a mobile wallet that stores loyalty account information and allows consumers to provide the reward account information simultaneously with payment information.
“This allows the POS to process both, applying the reward account to the purchase, then automatically applying the supplied credit to pay for it,” explained iPayStation’s Burke. “The interaction between the mobile wallet and POS can be achieved by a number of different methods, such as the popular near-field communication (NFC) that is currently gaining ground in mobile money applications.”
Nucleus also has the capability of collecting other information and attaching it to the customer’s loyalty account. The Nucleus platform provides services that allow retailers to attach the account to other aspects of the customer that they already carry with them.
“Because of Nucleus’ PCI-DSS compliant core, we can attach customers’ credit or debit card(s) to the loyalty/reward account,” said Burke. “This allows their membership to be automatically acknowledged and recorded by the POS just by swiping their credit or debit card. It can also be attributed to any and all credit and debit cards the customer carries and merchant accepts. This allows any card to be used at the POS and the customer is automatically identified as a loyalty/reward member.”

It’s About Information
On a more technologically sophisticated end of the spectrum, Tyfone, a mobile financial services solutions provider, has developed contactless payment technology for individuals to add to their existing smart phones by NFC enabling a standard memory card. The user decides what data he can store and securely update on the memory card product, including debit card, credit card, prepaid card, or loyalty card.
Tyfone recently introduced the iPhone sleeve, powered by Dexim. Siva Narendra, Ph.D., co-founder & CTO, said to think of the sleeve as a leather wallet with a memory card. “The consumer decides what goes inside the wallet and it allows for multiple prepaid accounts to be on the chip,” explained Narendra. “With this kind of mobile technology, the information is first, the transaction comes second. The technology has to be neutral.”
Tyfone’s technology is built for the widest possible audience. The SideTap memory card product enables the addition of NFC and true multi-factor authentication security.
“The neutral secure element can work in hundreds of millions of phones with memory card slots already in the market today,” said Carol Grunberg, vice president of marketing at Tyfone. “The Tyfone iPhone sleeve lets people who are using the iPhone have the same contactless capabilities as people using Android, BlackBerry and other smartphones.”
A miniature antenna and onboard controller ensures consumers can securely store and update any bank account, credit card, prepaid card, loyalty card and other payment information. A simple app lets the user select which payment information to use when checking out of retail stores and restaurants, including loyalty card information. A simple tap against a contactless point-of-sale terminal, already available at hundreds of thousands of locations worldwide – completes the transaction.
Loyalty is getting easier. The consolidation of loyalty cards is still in the early development stages, but it is fast becoming a unique niche in the retail shopping and commerce arena. The solutions for putting loyalty onto one card or into the smart phone will make it easier for consumers to reap their rewards and participate in offers and discounts. For the retailer, the one source loyalty card and the high-tech mobile apps are amazing door-openers to encourage shopping and spur loyalty to the retail brand.

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