Larry Wine, chief commercial officer for Bridge2 Solutions, told Loyalty360 that his company’s launch of  Loyalty Pay™−a rewards payment solution which enables the use of rewards currencies in retail stores at the POS and in-app through digital wallets−can be a game-changer in the industry.

“Our focus is on both supporting our customers’ efforts to drive loyalty with their customers and the user experience,” Wine told Loyalty360. “We set out to innovate a consumer-driven solution that facilitates reward currency redemptions as an everyday payment solution, which will make it easy for reward members to feel rewarded and exhibit engagement behaviors.”  

Loyalty Pay will enable consumers of Credit Card, Airline, Hotel and Retail Loyalty Programs to access and use their rewards currencies seamlessly, in real time, through digital wallets wherever Apple Pay® and Android Pay® are accepted. This experience is superior to current reward redemption options such as getting ‘after the fact’ statement credits, having to wait for gift cards to be delivered, or having a limited choice of merchandise to choose from. Loyalty Sponsors will have more messaging and branding touch points as their loyalty program is always on and displayed within the digital wallet.  

Loyalty Pay (patent pending) was developed to assist major consumer loyalty programs and brands execute strategies to differentiate their brand and deliver point ubiquity, offering consumers anywhere, anytime use of rewards currencies. Loyalty Pay eliminates the friction inherent in prevailing rewards programs and facilitates frequent redemptions to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty, and brand preference.

Through a fast and easy payment experience, Loyalty Pay unlocks loyalty programs. Here’s how it works in retail stores:

Users simply select the Sponsor’s Loyalty Pay digital rewards account from within Apple Pay or Android Pay, view their rewards currency balance, and tap to make a payment using their rewards currencies at the retail POS. Purchases made with Loyalty Pay can be supplemented with a credit, debit, or gift card. 

Wine outlined the company’s goals for Loyalty Pay from a customer engagement/customer loyalty perspective:

Flexibility, Instant Gratification: Give consumers flexibility and instant gratification when using their reward points and miles in retail stores and in-app, wherever apple pay and android pay are accepted.

Easy and Frictionless: Remove the friction that consumers currently face using their rewards currencies, and make it easy for them to use their rewards points anywhere and anytime.

Choice and Value: Give consumers the ultimate choice of where to shop with their points to get the best value.
Budget Extender: Give consumers more discretionary income by using their rewards currencies for everyday purchases. 

Here are some goals for program sponsors:

Unlock Loyalty: An estimated $160B in reward currencies are currently ‘locked’ in closed loop reward fulfillment systems. Loyalty Pay ‘Unlocks Loyalty’ by giving reward program members easy access to using reward points for everyday purchases, which will reduce the number of unused rewards points (estimated that 1/3 of rewards points collected are never redeemed).

Drive Engagement, Customer Satisfaction, and Loyalty: Drive engagement, customer satisfaction and loyalty to big consumer brands who sponsor reward programs (financial institutions, airlines, hotels, and retailers). Allow Sponsors to benefit from brand exposure for every transaction.

Provide Loyalty Marketing Strategies: Provide new co-marketing opportunities, merchant based offers and real-time messaging not available with current point transfer programs.   

Drive Positive Financial Results: Help Program Sponsors reduce their point liability and drive positive financial results.

“Bridge2 Solutions is a technology company that is focused on driving loyalty through innovative customer-driven solutions for the past 11 years,” Wine explained. “We transformed rewards programs in 2006 by taking the industry from the obsolete warehouse model to dynamic merchandise with the latest products, real-time pricing, same-day shipping, and in-store pick-up for the top financial institutions and travel programs in North America. 

How will Loyalty Pay enhance the customer experience?

“From a consumer perspective, the biggest gap in current programs is the friction that currently exists when redeeming points for rewards, as evidenced by the large percentage of program members who have never redeemed or who use their points infrequently,” Wine added. “Loyalty Pay will give consumers the flexibility to use their reward points and miles wherever and whenever they want−in retail stores and in-app, wherever Apple Pay and Android Pay are accepted.”

What’s more, Bridge2 Solutions recently Points Pal (patent pending), the first voice-activated rewards platform that is compatible with multiple Virtual Assistants. Points Pal facilitates the redemption process, making it easier for reward members to feel rewarded and exhibit engagement behaviors.

“We saw a huge opportunity as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft upped their investments in making digital assistants smarter,” Wine said. “Our deep and broad experience with integrations to enhance the capabilities of reward redemption for loyalty programs aligned very well with creating a new and unique experience which facilitates reward redemptions with these enhanced digital assistant capabilities.”  

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