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Loyalty Newswire – May 17th, 2021

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on May 17, 2021

Every Monday, our team compiles a list of the latest customer loyalty and marketing news to make it simple for busy professionals to quickly digest important, trending topics. Additionally, we cover the retail, travel, hospitality, payments and data privacy sectors. Show your support by joining our mailing list for exclusive content, events, and more delivered directly to your inbox! Don't forget to follow us on social media!

  • PDQ releases its first-ever loyalty program, MyPDQ Points, available at all 58 locations
  • GPM Investments rolls out its enhanced fas REWARDS®program to all store locations across the country
  • Alliance Data announces the separation of its card services and loyalty business segments
  • Giift introduces a new web-based application dubbed Giift Box which is designed for SMEs seeking to engage customers digitally
  • Southeastern Grocers adds "rewards boosters" to its customer loyalty program which provides consumers with personalized savings offers via a gamified method
  • In its latest acquisition, PDI acquires Gasbuddy, a mobile app that uses crowdsourcing technology to keep track of fuel prices across the U.S.
  • According to a recent Paytronix and PYMNTS study, 92% of consumers plan to continue ordering online despite being fully vaccinated
  • Brex partners with TravelBank as it launches Bitcoin and Ether rewards program for businesses
  • Kenya’s Safaricom entered discussions with Amazon to integrate its mobile payment service M-pesa as a payment option
  • WhatsApp's new privacy policy will give businesses more access to user metadata as Facebook takes advantage of the lack of privacy laws and regulations in the U.S.
  • According to ValuePenguin's report, the billions of unused airline miles could lead to issues for travelers as restrictions ease


PDQ Launches First Loyalty Program

Highlight: Award-winning PDQ restaurants (People Dedicated to Quality) has launched its first-ever loyalty program, MyPDQ Points at all 58 locations. Powered by the new MyPDQ App, guests can customize and save their PDQ orders, pay in advance to skip the line, store PDQ gift cards, track their point earning status and redeem for free items earned… “We are excited to introduce our new loyalty program and App to our raving fans,” says Frank Rappa, PDQ Chief Marketing Officer. “Our team members who are People Dedicated to Quality are obsessed with delighting our guests’ cravings, and this new MyPDQ points program and App enhances the guest experience by making it even better and easier to enjoy their PDQ favorites.” 

GPM Expands Loyalty Program

Highlight: Since the program relaunched in November 2020, there are nearly 100,000 new enrolled members and the program is now available in all GPM store locations across the country. “We couldn’t be more thrilled about the growth that this program has seen since relaunching late last year,” said Michael Bloom, executive vice president and chief marketing and merchandising officer at GPM. “Providing value to our customers is very important to us, and with this new expansion we’re able to do that at every one of our GPM store locations across the country. We’re looking forward to bringing great deals to even more fas Rewards members.”

Alliance Data to Separate Card Services and Loyalty Businesses

Highlight: "Alliance Data is committed to continuing our strategic transformation to deliver long-term, sustainable value for our stockholders as well as our associates, partners, customers and other stakeholders. Our plan to spin off our LoyaltyOne segment is a logical next step in our transformation journey and will position both entities for future growth," said Ralph Andretta, president and CEO of Alliance Data. "We are confident that this transaction, once completed, will provide distinct benefits to each company, enhancing the businesses' ability to execute against their respective strategic priorities."


Giift announces the launch of 'Giift Box'

Highlight: Giift continues to create path-breaking loyalty solutions. Introducing a new platform, 'Giift Box': A web-based application specially designed to promote digital inclusion within the SME segment. Now, every merchant, from kiosks to supermarkets can affordably engage their users... Pascal Xatart said, "Our innovative yet user-friendly loyalty solutions at Giift always intend to provide scalable and sustainable technology. 'Giift Box' does just that and will play a pivotal role in the upturn of SME businesses through an effective, yet affordable solution. With this launch, Giift now addresses every segment from microenterprises to large corporates".


Southeastern Grocers adds ‘rewards Boosters’ to savings options

Highlight: Jacksonville, Fla.-based SEG said Thursday that members of the Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más rewards programs will automatically receive relevant Booster offers through the store banners’ mobile apps. To use the Boosters, customers activate the offer within the app, complete the offer challenge and then receive the reward... “With the new ‘rewards Boosters’ addition to our highly rated rewards loyalty program, our customers now have the opportunity to earn more rewards toward savings on the products they buy most while experiencing a truly personalized shopping experience in our stores,” Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, said in a statement.

PDI Acquisition of GasBuddy Changes the Loyalty Landscape in Convenience Retail

Highlight: The latest in a series of acquisitions was announced this week as PDI acquired GasBuddy, a mobile app centric service whose moniker is “Helping people save on gas, every day”... For consumers, GasBuddy delivers loads of value in terms of saving money on fuel, providing trip planning tools, offering payment options, and marshalling a wide portfolio of third party offers. GasBuddy promotes that it gives the consumer “27 ways to save money on gas at 150,000 gas stations throughout North America and has already helped Americans save $3 billion in fuel since our founding in 2000”.

Study: 92% of diners plan to maintain digital ordering habits post-vaccine

Highlight: This optimism is reflected by consumers, as well. Sixty percent of diners say they are more comfortable eating out now, which marks the highest level since March 2020, according to reserach from Morning Consult. Still, as the Paytronix/PYMTS data shows, that doesn't mean brands need to fully shift the digital strategies they've put into place throughout the past year. Consumers are more willing to dine out, but they're also planning on keeping their off-premise habits in place. This could be good news for operators, as off-premise orders tend to carry higher checks and incremental sales.


Brex Partners With TravelBank To Launch Bitcoin And Ether Rewards Program For Businesses

Highlight: With the new offering, Brex’s customers, most notably Airbnb, Classpass, a subscription service that provides access to numerous fitness studios, and startup accelerator Y Combinator, will be able to exchange Brex reward points for bitcoin and ether the same way they’d redeem them for miles, gift cards, cash, or travel. Brex’s rewards partner, TravelBank, will power the zero-fee rewards redemption program, allowing users to input the amount of points they want to redeem for crypto that can then be transferred to a cryptocurrency wallet like Coinbase’s. Launched in 2017 as a corporate card provider for venture backed businesses, Brex has since expanded to offer small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as larger organizations an all-in-one finance management platform.

Safaricom negotiates integration of M-Pesa into Amazon’s platform

Highlight: Mobile operator Safaricom enters discussions with US tech giant Amazon to integrate its M-Pesa mobile payment service into the company’s platform. The boss of Kenya’s leading telecom operator said that the success of these exchanges will strengthen the fruitful collaboration that the two companies already have. Safaricom and Amazon are already working together on web services, with the former managing the local sales of the U.S. giant's cloud service. Safaricom's desire to introduce M-Pesa as a payment method on Amazon is in line with its expansion strategy, which it has already initiated by signing partnership agreements with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd and Paypal Holdings Inc.


Facebook tightens grip on WhatsApp user data as U.S. lags on privacy

Highlight: WhatsApp is forging ahead with a new privacy policy that will expand Facebook's grip on consumer data, despite pressure from users and lawmakers to reverse course — intensifying alarm about Silicon Valley writing its own rules of the road on data in the absence of regulation in the U.S... WhatsApp and Facebook have long exchanged valuable metadata — “data about the data,” as Trahan put it — which offers insight into consumers’ behavior and is extremely important for advertisers. But the messaging app’s growth in the U.S. early in the pandemic, coupled with it being tangled in antitrust suits and probes around the world, has drawn a new level of scrutiny to the way data on its more than two billion users is shared across the Facebook ecosystem.


$27.5 Billion in Unused Miles Could Lead to a Lack of Available Seats as Travel Ramps Back Up

Highlight: The U.S.’ five most valuable airline loyalty programs — Delta Air Lines’ SkyMiles, American Airlines’ AAdvantage, United Airlines’ MileagePlus, Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards and JetBlue’s TrueBlue — ended 2020 with a combined $27.5 billion in rewards program liabilities, according to a new ValuePenguin study that examined annual filings. Consumers traveled much less in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, while many rewards programs paused miles or points expirations. Because airlines generally keep outstanding miles as liabilities on their balance sheets, this led to liabilities across the five programs spiking 11.6% from the year prior.

Read last week's newswire: Loyalty Newswire – May 10th, 2021

The Loyalty Newswire is compiled and edited by the staff at The Wise Marketer.