Australian loyalty/electronic purse card launched
Two Queensland groups have begun issuing a smart loyalty card with a built in electronic purse to their customers. Negotiations with other merchants are in progress.
St Georges Bank and Worldsmart Technology (WST) have launched the e-asy points/Visa Cash card: a multi-application smart card programme that allows single merchants or groups of merchants to run an open smart card loyalty programme. The card also contains the Visa Cash electronic purse.
WST and St. George are working with ReTech Global and other partners to provide a totally integrated point of sale, loyalty and payment solution. Worldsmart will provide the infrastructure, operational support and management for the e-asy points loyalty scheme. St.George Bank will support the Visa Cash electronic purse and provide points of sale Bank terminals to accept the cards.
Rewards set via internet The number of e-asy points earned when purchases are made from a participating merchant is set by the merchant, who can change their points promotions at any time by dialling into a secure web site to set new levels. Paying with Visa Cash increases the number of points earned. Each e-asy point is worth one cent, and can be redeemed for money off the next purchase at any participating outlet. There is no delay between earning points and being able to redeem them.
Participators or Owners Participating merchants can either be Loyalty Participators, in which case they can issue and redeem points without actually distributing cards to customers and maintaining a database, or they can be Loyalty Owners. Owners issue branded cards and earn a fee when their cards are used at other participating outlets.
Merchant groups Initially, Visa Cash terminals will be installed in more than 50 Queensland outlets of the Giants Liquor and Jackpot Hotel groups. It is planned to issue 40,000 smart cards over the coming months. The bank claims that it is the first time that loyalty points, Visa Cash, multi-application smart cards, EFTPOS terminals, cash registers and the Internet have been combined to deliver an integrated solution at the point of sale for cardholders and merchants.
82% redemption rate WST has been operating a smart card-based loyalty programme in South Australia for some four years, issuing more than 130,000 cards in 80 venues and issuing over 4m loyalty points per month. According to WST director, Richard Jones, "The success of any loyalty programme is measured by satisfied customers redeeming their reward points and WST's redemption rate is currently 82%." WST is negotiating with other groups and individual merchants to join the programme.