Blockchain Tech in Loyalty Programs

Can crypto innovations enhance the customer experience?

ShapeShift
Nov 16 · 5 min read

Who doesn’t love a good customer loyalty program? One where you reap extra rewards by spending the money you planned on spending anyway.

These programs are all fun and games until you attempt to redeem your airline miles. Only to have the lengthy paragraph (written in fine print) crush your dreams with limitations, point expiration dates, and exceptions. Let’s not forget those ridiculous “rewards” that give you $5.00 when you spend $500 on low-cost items like coffee or socks.

Customer loyalty programs have become complicated and clunky. The majority require you to sign up for another credit card that you don’t really need. Other programs are nice in theory but are full of hidden restrictions and red tape. Even the simple coffee punch cards are more likely to be lost than ever actually redeemed. So what’s the solution?

The Blockchain Solution

Imagine this: It’s 2030 and you make a purchase at your local grocery store. Cha-ching! Your wallet just received 10 loyalty crypto tokens. These are not only used for whatever perk the store offers, but they can never expire or be taken away.

A loyalty program is merely some type of incentive that encourages customers to return and conduct repeat business. So why not be rewarded with loyalty tokens that can all be held in one wallet? Easy to keep track of and undeniably in your control.

Blockchain technology can, and already has started to improve outdated rewards programs in several ways.

Ownership: A token can never be taken away as long as the owner of the wallet controls the keys.

Expiration: A token cannot expire, unlike other rewards or points.

Transparency: Ownership of each token is recorded on the blockchain and cannot be edited or changed.

Multi-use: Unlike points programs that can only be used for one specific business, tokens could be traded for other assets or fiat with the right exchange.

Trust: Users can see their rewards in real-time and anyone can verify their balance on the blockchain.

Reducing cost: Companies can cut costs on system management, transactional, and customer acquisition.

Easier Redemption: By centralizing loyalty tokens, users are able to access their rewards more easily and have a higher likelihood of using them, generating more business.

Minimize Abuse: Tokens are immutable and irreversible, cutting down double spending, fraud, and abuse.

Blockchain Tech Meet Loyalty Programs

Blockchain tokens and loyalty programs have begun to merge together in the past few years — taking advantage of the customer and business benefits listed above. If you dig a little deeper into your current services like credit card and airline rewards, you may just find a crypto loyalty program.

Singapore Airlines has launched its blockchain-based loyalty program for frequent customers. KrisPay helps flyers maximize their loyalty points by allowing them to be used with partner merchants in Singapore

American Express is embracing the blockchain for it’s Membership Rewards program. By leveraging blockchain technology Amex lets merchants more directly and creatively incentivize consumers with more specific offers.

BNB is Binance’s token and incentivizes customers to use Binance. BNB lets a user fuel transactions on the chain, pay for transaction fees on Binance Exchange, make in-store payments, and more.

EZ Rent-A-Car added cryptocurrencies as a redemption option for its customer loyalty program as a way to differentiate itself not only from its competitors but also from its parent brand, Advantage. There are three crypto options: Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.

Over to You

Will crypto and blockchain technology continue to bring more consumer-focused advancements? Let us know what crypto loyalty programs you use and what you think of them below.

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