Branding and brand loyal is crucial to the success of businesses. By offering loyalty apps customers will always have access to the company’s loyalty program. This gives a multitude of possibility for building a strong customer relationship through rewards, unique offers, personalized experiences, online ordering, customer service etc. Building life-long relationships with the customers makes a brand last, and makes the customers choose one brand in preferences to another. Loyalty apps is one of the best tool’s companies can leverage in order to keep customers in touch with their brand.

Today’s mobile payment systems are based on current card and system architectures. The mobile phone has many more features than a payment card, consequently in order for customers to replace the card with a mobile phone, customers expects more functionality than a pure replacement. Apple Pay, Google Pay and others are built on top of a card infrastructure, thus also giving the user little additional functionality compared to a standard card payment.

Loyalty apps on the other hand may become both appealing and valuable for the customer when integrated with payment. Reward programs with earnings and direct redemption through in-store payment has the likelihood of triggering the interest of customers. Combining Loyalty Apps with payment in one and the same app with single registration and login is much wanted for both customers and the merchants.

Today there are several examples of successful loyalty Apps with payment. The Starbuck App and its reward program is one of the most successful loyalty apps with in-store payment. The app provides a user-friendly personalized experience and incorporates a popular reward program that benefits the user. Coopay is another example and was recently launched as an in-store payment for the second largest grocery chain in Norway. Coopay is an integrated part of the Coop Loyalty App.

As soon as customers get accustomed to the rich functionality of a Loyalty App with payment the demand for such Apps will increase. In Europe the PSD2 directive and open banking will back this development through the establishment of new infrastructure more suitable for mobile payment. Providers of open APIs for mobile payment will be essential in this development.

Ablepay is independent provider of open Bluetooth payment technology that brings seamless in-store payment to all mobile handsets. With a unique “NFC like” tap-and-pay technology Ablepay provides a technology platform for building appealing loyalty apps with payment that creates customer engagement.

Steinar Brede, NORBIT AblePay
January 2020