As Loylogic traverses the world looking for more than just a single partner for its rewards redemption app, it's attempting to sweeten the user experience by reducing the amount of navigation needed at the point of sale.
"You can choose the amount you need immediately after logging in. There's this discussion around how to make mobile work, and the importance of demonstrating why mobile is better than using a card, and speed at the point of sale is important," says Robert Moerland, vice president of business development for PointsPay, a subsidiary of Loylogic, a Zurich-based global exchange and clearing house for virtual currencies.
PointsPay, which relies on an internal team of programmers who develop off of a proprietary platform, just finished building what the company is calling "Quickloader." The design of the app's page has been changed to enable users to automatically select the amount of points to be converted to cash for purchase, removing the extra steps of selecting currency type and the rewards program.
"[Quickloader] automatically selects the last program and last currency used. Of course you can use top-level navigation to change program or currency as desired," Moerland says.
First launched in the fall of 2012, PointsPay's mobile wallet lets rewards currencies such as airline miles be redeemed at the point of sale at almost any retailer, rather than tying points or loyalty to a specific merchant. Consumers load their points or miles via the PointsPay mobile app, which can be downloaded from iTunes onto a PointsPay prepaid Visa or MasterCard or a virtual card.
Consumers select an amount of points to load onto the card, and based on a conversion rate that's part of loyalty program, those points are given a cash value. The consumer then shops online or in person, choosing from 150 currencies and 30 million retailers internationally that accept Visa or MasterCard. The fee is about $0.99 per transaction.
Loylogic hopes it can convince companies it can get people to use loyalty programs more frequently. In the U.S., Colloquy and Swift exchange say about $16 billion or 33 percent of loyalty programs went unused in the past year.
Moerland would identify only one participant, Eithad Guest, the rewards program from Eithad Airways, the United Arab Emirates' national airline. He said the company was in talks with points reward providers in the U.S. and other countries.
Point of sale reward redemption has attracted other companies. For example, Edo Interactive offers "Prewards," or virtual coupons redeemable when used at the point of sale. Edo Interactive, whose merchant acquiring clients include Fifth Third Bank and Ally Bank, also has a mobile app that uses geolocation to provide information on special offers with nearby merchants. And American Express' iPhone app has My Offers, which recommends and ranks merchant offers in real time based on spending history and location.
The PointsPay system could be an interesting part of a company's larger loyalty and rewards strategy that also includes traditional merchant-targeted programs, says Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst at Aite Group who specializes in mobile payments.
"One of the goals in the mobile rewards space is to drive traffic back to a merchant after the first visit," he says.
Moerland says that Loylogic's developers are working on an option for users to choose merchant-funded redemptions, which provide more cash value at specific merchants. "That's not live yet but is on the plan for 2013."