Where smart cards, loyalty and e-payments meet
The convergence of traditional retailing with e-commerce and m-commerce, combined with the demand for secured financial transactions, has spurred demand for rewards programmes to be tightly integrated with electronic payment and smart card systems, according to Smart Chip Technologies (SCTN).
Coalition loyalty and open redemption programmes, such as frequent flyer or buyer programmes, are becoming increasingly important in the business world as companies try to increase their customers' brand loyalty.
Smart loyalty at point-of-sale SCTN has recently awarded a product development and integration services contract to the smart card and electronic payment systems integrator, Airos Group.
The group is to port SCTN's patent-protected loyalty application, e-llegiance, to run on Ingenico's Elite 510 smart chip enabled PoS terminals, for a loyalty programme to be implemented in early 2003.
Internet-smart, too SCTN is one of the founding members of the Solstice Alliance, which was formed to develop and market an internet-capable, EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) compliant, multi-application smart card payment suite. Airos is currently the prime integrator for an end-to-end multi-application smart card implementation of that system.
"We are enthusiastic about contributing to this loyalty solution, integrated with electronic payments," commented Miki Radivojsa, lead architect for Airos. "Our experience with smart payment cards confirms that strong loyalty programmes drive smart card use."
With EMV compliance deadlines looming for credit card issuers, SCTN says it can help. With its e-llegiance and LoyaltyCentral loyalty systems, banks can begin converting front-end loyalty applications and back-end processing, while still using magnetic stripe cards but upgrading cardholders to smart cards.
The firm holds patents that are essential to building and operating incentive programmes for use with portable electronic devices, such as smart cards, personal digital assistants, mobile phones, and laptops. Its patents have already been awarded in the US, Mexico, and Australia, and are currently pending in Japan and Canada.