Fintech firm mulls universal loyalty platform
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - May 11, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Filipino fintech firm Appsolutely is aiming to address gaps in the loyalty rewards industry through a blockchain technology, laying the foundation of a new 'loyalty economy.'

In a press conference at the sidelines of the Beach Blockchain Conference in Mövenpick Hotel yesterday, Appsolutely founder and CEO Patrick Palacios said the startup firm is eyeing a universal loyalty platform in the Philippine market.

Although the loyalty market in the country has grown, the participation of consumers remains low due to complicated mechanics, lack of flexibility, and fragmented options for redemption.

He said his company has created blockchain-backed loyalty applications that enable brands to increase their impact with customers and empower them with rewards that are easy to own, manage and redeem in a scalable environment.

Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency or digital currency are recorded chronologically and publicly.

Yesterday's conference gathered investors and companies engaged in blockchain technology, bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrencies.

Palacios' company has developed loyalty programs for companies such as The Bistro Group, Family Mart, Toby’s Estate, and Bon Chon, among others.

Yesterday, it announced its partnership with budget airline Cebu Pacific to introduce a decentralized loyalty program under the latter's Get Go loyalty rewards.

Teaming up with peer-to-peer blockchain developer NEM Foundation, Appsolutely had launched its Loyal Platform, Loyal Coin, and Loyal Wallet to consolidate the traditionally loyalty industry into the new “loyalty economy."

The idea is to enable loyalty rewards members to convert their reward points into the Loyal Coin digital currency which they can use to redeem rewards across different merchants anytime, anywhere.

With Loyal Coin, users can earn rewards points in every purchase of Appsolutely’s retail partners which include restaurants, convenience stores, and supermarkets, among others, and then use them to score Get Go rewards from Cebu Pacific, which they can use to buy plane tickets. Officials announced a Loyal Coin app is now available publicly.

Traditionally, most loyalty programs can't be used outside of the companies' respective establishments.

So the key is to unify the loyalty rewards industry using blockchain technology, Palacios said.

Loyal coins are stored in the Loyal Wallet which will be a hub of all transactions involving the rewards economy: users may not only redeem rewards, but make online purchases, send money, pay utilities, and even convert loyal coin into fiat or virtual currencies.

Powering Loyal Coin is NEM’s innovative blockchain technology, whose Proof-of-Importance (POI) algorithm enables a merchant using Loyal Coin to monitor the transaction patterns of customers and assign specific rewards to those utilizing the platform frequently.

NEM’s blockchain technology also grants Appsolutely the flexibility to retain control over aspects of the transaction process for which protection of customer data and privacy is a top priority.

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