Loyalty Newswire – May 31st, 2021

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on May 31, 2021

Every Monday, the editors at The Wise Marketer curate 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 to gain access to exclusive content, events, and promotions. Don't forget to follow us on social media!

  • Mi Rewards, powered by Miconex and Stampfeet's loyalty platform, is approaching £1million in sales
  • Punchh's Spring 2021 product and innovation release features new loyalty program liability and activity reporting functionality
  • SpotOn raises $125 million in Series D funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz increasing its valuation to roughly $1.875 billion
  • Authentic Brands, owner of Forever 21, Brooks Brothers, and other major brands, is planning to bring the company public
  • Luxury retail brands in Paris have shifted their focus to opening stores in less popular but still in-demand areas, according to research conducted by IFDAQ
  • Herman Miller upgraded its e-commerce site based on input from over 200 surveyed customers
  • U.S. Banks are preparing for the transition to ISO 20022 as the global messaging standard to help facilitate international payments
  • Apple is looking to hire a new business development manager to lead its alternative payments partnership program
  • FotoWare launches the world's first image consent management feature enabling the recording of usage rights and consent immediately after the image is captured
  • Starting June 1st, Middle East Airlines will only accept payments in U.S. dollars


Mi Rewards Town and City Loyalty Programme Approaches £1 Million Milestone Amidst UK Expansion

Highlight: Mi Rewards, the town and city loyalty programme from Scottish fintech Miconex and loyalty platform Stampfeet, is approaching £1million in sales, with over 47,000 transactions. The loyalty programme expanded across the UK in 2020 with launches in Enniskillen, Stoke on Trent, Guildford, Gloucester and Fleet. New schemes will launch in Barnsley and Kirkcaldy in 2021... A revamped website was introduced in May 2021 to provide support for new and existing Mi Rewards locations as businesses reopen following the latest lockdown. The new website features a greater focus on participating businesses, including a promotions page for the business to improve visibility and traction with potential customers.

Punchh Announces 2021 Spring Release For Loyalty, Offers, And Customer Engagement Platform

Highlight: In a continued commitment to help Punchh clients protect the financial health and future success of their loyalty programs, the Spring 2021 Release features new, out-of-the-box Liability and Activity Reporting functionality that allows corporate marketers and finance teams to better estimate and track loyalty redemptions over time, offering a clear picture of their outstanding program liability. In doing so, they can more easily protect against fraud while making agile adjustments that balance cost without compromising the customer loyalty experience.


SpotOn Raises $125 Million in Series D Funding Led by Andreessen Horowitz

Highlight: "SpotOn offers a fully-integrated product suite that has not only helped SMBs survive the pandemic, but has been the critical infrastructure to keep many of them going,” said David George, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. "The company's mission is to help small businesses compete and win, and this has been validated time and time again by their strong customer feedback and accelerated product adoption. We are excited to partner with SpotOn as they continue to power SMBs nationwide.” “Having a16z lead our Series D is an endorsement of our strong and unique position in the marketplace and recognizes our continued growth and momentum,” said Zach Hyman, Co-CEO and Co-Founder. “This capital will be used to further accelerate product development and expand our market presence.”


Forever 21 Owner Authentic Brands Plans IPO This Year

Highlight: Authentic Brands Group LLC, the owner of brands such as Brooks Brothers, Juicy Couture and Forever 21, is exploring going public as soon as this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The New York-based company has held discussions with potential advisers about an initial public offering, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The company could seek a valuation of about $10 billion when it goes public, the people said. Its plans aren’t final and the size and valuation of the deal could still change, the people said. The company was valued at more than $4 billion, including debt, in an $875 million investment by BlackRock Inc. in 2019.

Paris: The hidden opportunities in luxury retail

Highlight: The report found that in Paris, luxury stores are currently clustered around the 8th and 9th arrondissements, home to well-known destinations like Avenue des Champs-Élysées (8th) and Galeries Lafayette (9th), but high demand for luxury categories is also present in the 1st, 2nd and 6th arrondissements, where store density is less saturated. New developments reflect a shift outside of the most popular districts. Currently, there are nearly 30 or so luxury projects underway, including those on Rue Saint-Honoré, another location that is benefiting from the shift from Avenue Montaigne.

Herman Miller builds new e-commerce site around customer needs

Highlight: Using more than 110 hours of customer research and feedback, as well as user testing from over 200 different participants, Herman Miller has upgraded its e-commerce site. The site was developed to deliver a consistent, user-friendly experience with additional content that answers common shopper questions. All these features are based on key requests from surveyed customers. New features include video chat with product specialists, as well as artificial intelligence (AI)-driven product recommendations and a new customer-centric website navigation designed to provide easier access to popular categories like gaming.


Why the U.S. Is Getting on Board with Global Standard for Payments

Highlight: In the U.S. those banks that have established network connections to RTP, of which about 20% are proprietary and the remaining ones are through TPSPs, will have begun the journey. However, eventually any institution utilizing SWIFT, Fedwire and/or CHIPS will need to incorporate the de-facto global standard into their financial operations since conversions will be occuring. The pandemic has delayed specific deadline announcements but it’s safe to say that in three years the ISO 20022 journey will need to be an integral part of payments infrastructure execution.

Apple Is Looking for Crypto Experience in ‘Alternative Payments’ Job Post

Highlight: Apple is looking to hire a business development manager with experience in the cryptocurrency industry to lead its “alternative payments” partnership program. In a Wednesday job posting, Apple said candidates should have five years or more “working in or with alternative payment providers, such as digital wallets, BNPL [buy now pay later], Fast Payments, cryptocurrency and etc.” The Cupertino tech giant said the manager would be Apple’s chief negotiator for the alternative payments space.


Highlight: Digital asset management (DAM) provider FotoWare has announced a world first as it launches the FotoWare Consent Management feature for browsers and mobile apps. It enables recording of usage rights and consent at the time of image capture, while intelligently finding any related images and assigning the same consents. With a growing emphasis on data privacy since the rollout of GDPR and other regulations worldwide, including the California Privacy Right Act (CPRA), with the new FotoWare feature, organisations can comply easily by automating and simplifying the collection, storage and retrieval of precise image consent information.


Middle East Airlines Will Only Accept US Dollars From Tomorrow

Highlight: Lebanese national flag carrier Middle East Airlines (MEA) announced on Sunday that it would only accept payments in US dollars starting from Tuesday, June 1. Originally, the move was to have taken place on June 8, but has been brought forward by the Lebanese Central Bank... “We have no other choice but to charge in dollars once the Central Bank ends its subsidy program, or else we will be forced to close down. We are already losing a lot of money because we are charging at a dollar rate of LL3,900 (Lebanese pounds), and this proved to be very bad for our business.”

Read last week's newswire: Loyalty Newswire – May 24th, 2021

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