Smart card loyalty from Visa, Catuity and Welcome Real-time
Visa USA and rewards software developers Welcome Real-time and Catuity have finally unveiled their new suite of technology components developed to enable network-independent rewards services for chip-based smart Visa cards issued in the USA.
Using the new Multi-Network Rewards Solution components, issuers of Visa smart cards will have the ability to use software from multiple sources, and merchants will be able to support rewards services on smart cards with various technologies.
"Developing the solution will help accelerate the evolution of a robust supply chain for rewards products and services," said Patrick Gauthier, senior vice president of Visa USA, who believes that this technology will become a cornerstone for future chip-based rewards offerings.
The technology, demonstrated at Cartes 2002, while initially focused on products and services by Catuity and Welcome, is designed to support rewards and electronic marketing solutions for smart cards and point-of-sale (PoS) devices developed by other companies.
"These developments will help to side-step the format debate," explained Aneace Haddad, CEO of Welcome. "They improve the possibility of more rapid adoption by merchants and issuers, who will benefit from an expanding pool of loyalty and e-marketing solutions to provide rewards to their customers."
Payments, rewards and customer service The technology includes software applications for payment and rewards services on cards and PoS devices, including SchlumbergerSema's MagIC series of terminals, as used in the demonstration at Cartes.
It also includes a Card Care system (developed by Welcome) that allows card issuers to integrate with multiple hosts and support cardholder customer service functions via call centres and web sites.
Michael Howe, CEO for Catuity, said, "This new class of products we are developing will result in mature solutions that add more value to card products, increase customer usage and retention, while at the same time reducing risks for card issuers, merchants and payment networks, as they begin the deployment of a broad range of third-party applications."
The Multi-Network Rewards Solution is expected to be made available during the first quarter of 2003.