New loyalty platform adopts the payment card
A new loyalty programme platform for small payments, both online and at the physical point-of-sale, has been launched by small payments technology firm Peppercoin, allowing merchants to reward customers for small ticket-value items and services without requiring loyalty programme registration first.
The Small Payments Suite uses any standard credit or debit card's number as the unique identifier for the customer loyalty transaction database, so as long as a customer continues to use the same card for their purchases with a merchant, their loyalty can be rewarded on an ongoing basis.
How it works Merchants can automatically enrol each customer at the time of purchase by swiping or tapping their card at the point-of-sale (or by securely gathering the card details online).
Each time the customer uses that card with the merchant, Peppercoin records their participation and eligibility for rewards, based on rules defined by the merchant.
Payment methods The system provides flexibility in terms of tracking rewards - either in dollars or point denominations - and functions equally well with common purchasing options, including prepaid, post-paid, subscription or pay-as-you-go.
Peppercoin implemented a rules-based approach that allows merchants to determine the exact criteria for the assignment of rewards.
Flexible reward structure For example, to encourage peak purchasers to revisit during off-peak times, a merchant could provide extra incentives for making purchases at slower times of the day or week. Other examples of rewards that could be offered might include:
- Diner: a coupon for 20% off breakfast with a purchase of US$20 or more at lunchtime;
- Entertainment: Get every twentieth online music download for free;
- Parking: Get an hour of free parking for opening a US$25 prepaid parking account.
Transaction tracking The software tracks all customer transactions and, for point of sale merchants, automatically includes information such as a rewards summary on the printed receipt. The system is also capable of triggering a coupon at the point of sale, again governed by merchant-defined rules.
By reporting the customer's reward on each receipt, or by integrating that information into the online purchase confirmation process, the system also serves to remind customers that the merchant appreciates their business.
Wider appeal According to Michael Friedman, director of emerging technologies for Mercator Advisory Group, "Traditionally, loyalty programmes tied to small payments have been a challenge, especially for point of sale merchants, due to the high cost of customer acquisition and the length of most programme applications. This new offering helps to extend these programmes to merchants who could not realise their benefits in the past."