Loyyal on Loyalty by Robert Moerland
I have recently joined a startup called Loyyal. Loyyal is the first loyalty network provider that uses blockchain technology to power and support loyalty and reward programs.
For the past 15+ years, I have been involved in program design and implementations with many of the largest and most innovative loyalty programs worldwide. Always I have been advocating and creating change in favor of increased flexibility and usability, as well as more choice and better value, for consumers when earning and using their loyalty currencies. Solutions need to create value for each stakeholder in the value chain — members, program operators, merchants & manufacturers, and vendors alike. I believe blockchain technology will help to break down barriers between program operators and its users and partners.
So what is blockchain technology? And how does it impact the loyalty industry?
Blockchain, in layman’s terms, is a technology that enables to share or collaborate on database management between multiple parties in a secured fashion, including rules setting via so-called “Smart Contract” technology and processing of transactions of virtual currencies.
As for the impact of blockchain technology, I will highlight a few challenges that probably most people working on or using loyalty programs will recognize.
Typically a big challenge that programs experience is that technologies used by various parties are not compatible. This means that lengthy integration projects are required to enable interactions, such as data exchange or transaction processing. Even if the parties use modern technologies and have well-developed APIs available, still the setup is time-consuming and most of the time not re-usable. As such scalability, or in other words the expansion of the program required to grow its relevance and revenues, is an issue. Most programs end up with many different system and partnership integrations that all need to be maintained, which is a resource issue in itself. In more mature programs, customers often have to deal with a plethora of interfaces and processes, which hinders the engagement and reduces the rewarding experience
Another challenge is often the alignment of objectives between partners, and importance given to the cooperation by the parties involved. Bigger retailers for example don’t necessarily want to invest time and money or prioritize the work required in order to initiate collaborations with for example travel loyalty programs. Another concern may be that participation in the program does not deliver the same return for various stakeholders, or that not all parties have an equal say about or ability to influence (the exposure of) the customer proposition.
Blockchain solves these issues by providing one universal underlying network technology that enables all players to connect in the same way, without customized interfaces, but with the ability to define the relationships in simple-to-use rule sets, including contract information, data parameters, value definitions, inclusions/exclusions and much more. As one of the many options, it will enable a more detailed tracking of products and brands that will help to allow earn and/or spend of loyalty currencies on SKU level online and in-store. More generally speaking, the blockchain technology capabilities solve scalability issues, simplify relationship management (not only for programs, but also for alliances), streamline customer journeys, and open the doors for new concepts such as shared liability management, easily created sub-programs or ad-hoc initiatives with big merchants or marketing agencies.
Loyyal is poised to revolutionize the industry by introducing innovative database and transaction technology that changes how programs operate and connect with members and partners. I am excited to be part of this transformational journey into the future and build the “Internet of Loyalty™”. You are more than welcome to come along!
For any inquiries, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Vice President
Global Business Development