Global loyalty program industry is growing rapidly and is predicted to reach USD 25 billion by 2020. Loyalty management has become an expensive and segmented process wherein merchants have to bear cost of loyal systems along with training. Shoppers need to monitor each loyalty point system from every retailer individually through separate portals. This becomes a complex process for both shoppers and merchants. Expenditure during business travel has crossed USD 1 trillion, while global tourism expenditure is pegged around USD 8 trillion. Increasingly, retailers are making constant effort to convert one time purchases from tourists to repeated orders. This can be influenced through loyalty programs and cross border reward earning and managing system. Some of the developments in this segment include Adyen entering into partnerships with Sabre Airline Solutions and NetSuite, which also aims at business expansion to Australia, Brazil and Hong Kong. International payment service provider Computop collaborated with PayU (payment gateway) to increase international reach. Partnership between online payment platform Alipay and Zapper, which is a consumer insights and marketing platform has aided in usage of Alipay by Chinese tourists across 1000 location in the UK.
Singapore based start-up firm UTU Pte Ltd. founded by The Scotts Group and Korvac Holdings introduced first of its kind cross border coalition loyalty programme UTU on 1st November 2016. This facilitates consumers to earn reward points across five debit or credit cards which can then be redeemed at any of the partners worldwide. UTU consolidates reward points from different credit and debit cards and reduces time to process these points. There is no barrier towards cross border loyalty in this approach. This new consumer model helps users to earn reward points now and redeem them at POS. It also has a merchant portal that enables retailers to set up personalized promotions and campaigns along with tracking return on engagement. Currently the system is available in Singapore and Thailand which is planned to expand across other Asian markets, United States, UK and other European markets as well by 2017.
Coalition loyalty program aims to make it easier for merchants towards maintenance of the system and preserve consumer interest by simplifying the process. In recent quarters, there have been increasing number of start-ups targeting this space, simplifying the loyalty program processes. PayNXT360 believes that over the next four quarters more start-ups will launch their offering in this segment, making it competitive and driving rate of innovation. Consumer loyalty programs help in increasing profitability through purchases of higher margin products, low serving cost and consumer referrals.
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