Digital punch cards
One of the biggest goals of mobile payments has been connecting the consumer transaction with a store’s loyalty program to leverage data for customized offers, but many quick-service restaurants have struggled
to make that happen.
Mobile marketing specialists like LevelUp and Punchh
are making headway by linking purchase data from transactions with loyalty and rewards programs, but the two companies are split on how they use Near Field Communications-powered mobile payments, underscoring an ongoing dilemma.
Punchh is betting that NFC—still not widely available at most merchant locations years after its introduction—will eventually become ubiquitous, and it hopes to get an edge with clients with a direct connection to Apple Pay, enabling consumers who pay via NFC in stores to simultaneously earn and redeem restaurant loyalty program points.Walgreens
customers have been able to earn loyalty points using Apple Pay since 2015, and last year Kohl’s
enabled its app users to earn points when paying with Apple Pay, but Punchh is an early mover in the restaurant industry, said Shyam Rao, Punchh’s CEO.
“Restaurant loyalty has been broken for a long time, but now a customer can walk into a restaurant, pay with Apple Pay and simultaneously get loyalty points and offers on the spot, creating a smooth, multi-channel loyalty experience for customers paying online, in-app or in stores,” Rao said.
Punchh plans to add Android Pay to its restaurant loyalty platform and is currently in discussions with Google about enabling its NFC payment service by the end of the year, the company said.