New coalition loyalty programme launches in India
In India, a new coalition loyalty programme called 'i-mint' has been launched by Loyalty Solutions & Research Limited (LSRL), with founding partners including Airtel, HPCL, ICICI Bank, Indian Airlines, Lifestyle and MakeMyTrip.com.
LSRL is a company funded by ICICI Venture, and focuses on enhancing customer experiences through loyalty and rewards programmes. The company launched i-mint to be a truly national loyalty coalition that will allow consumers to earn benefits through a wide network of merchant partners.
Although the programme is currently being launched in four cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad), the full rollout is planned for more than 20 cities throughout India during the next twelve months. Members will also soon be able to enrol in the programme through multiple channels.
How it works Some of the programme's key features include:
- The programme will be accepted in multiple cities, regardless of the payment method chosen by the consumer (i.e. cash, credit or debit).
- The programme offers a 'shop while you earn' feature, which gives members the chance to earn points from more than one partner with each transaction.
- The rewards catalogue currently contains approximately 300 rewards provided by the programme's founding partners, as well as from other non-partnered merchants in various categories.
Partner offerings The founding partners are offering varying levels of rewards through the programme. For example:
- Bharti Airtel This private integrated telecom conglomerate is offering i-mint points on all spending related to pre-paid and post-paid mobile phone connections, as well as Airtel Mega Fixed Wireless Phones. Members will also be able to earn i-mint points on other services such as broadband and fixed line telephones.
- HPCL This integrated oil company is offering i-mint points at selected HPCL fuel outlets.
- ICICI Bank This bank is soon to begin offering i-mint points for all ICICI Bank-issued credit and debit card transactions conducted at i-mint partner outlets. Other business units of ICICI Bank (such as Loans and Liabilities) will also soon join the programme.
- Indian Airlines The airline now offers i-mint points for all air ticket sales.
- Lifestyle International This retailer, which operates in five categories (apparel, footwear & travel accessories, infant wear, cosmetics & perfumes, and home improvement), is offering i-mint points at its Lifestyle stores (including Lifestyle's home improvement store, 'Home Centre').
- MakeMyTrip.com This internet-based travel company is to offer i-mint points for travel packages and air tickets booked through its web site.
Future plans LSRL says it plans to scale up the programme over time, adding more features and partners. The programme will also be able to support real-time points issuance and redemption at selected partner locations, and the ability to transfer and aggregate points between family members.
According to Mr Vijay Bobba, CEO for LSRL, "Coalition loyalty programmes have been a success in other parts of the world. With i-mint, we intend to start a revolution in India. We have taken into account all the needs and aspirations of the Indian consumer, and have created a product to suit all lifestyles."
LSRL was formed in February 2006 as a subsidiary of TechProcess Solutions Limited, and both are network companies of ICICI Venture Funds. LSRL's core business is to create, design, develop, promote, and market consumer loyalty programmes. The company currently has offices in Mumbai and Bangalore.