Local Rewards has had a great first month and a half – with over 80 businesses and 300 cardholders, we’re off to a flying start.
The program continues to develop and we’re announcing some exciting updates for our merchants and cardholders with the release of our card linking option and app in the coming weeks and months.
Going forward, the Local Rewards program will be clearly structured into two products: Our Local Rewards program and our existing Local Rewards Gift Cards.
Local Rewards Program Goes Digital
We’ve been working behind the scenes since COVID19 hit to develop this next stage of our Local Rewards program, and we’re excited to announce our full Local Rewards Program is now currently out of development and in it’s final stages of trials – and set to launch in the first months of 2021.
The next generation technology in the loyalty market is to link customers’ existing cards to a loyalty program, with the rewards and discounts happening without any friction in the background.
Not only does this require no staff training or additional work on behalf of the merchant, but ultimately it will yield a rich stream of data which participating merchants will be able to access and use.
Local Rewards is partnering with award winning Australian fintech company OpenSparkz on its next generation technology solution, and we are in the final stages of trials in our area of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Redfern, with selected merchants.
Here’s a run down of how it works:
- The Local Rewards Program works on a customers’ existing Visa and/or Mastercard.
- The cardholder will need to nominate (register) the cards they want to use for rewards via an app or website to participate.
- Merchants do not need to do anything at the point of sale – the normal sales transaction is completed – no need to show a card or voucher, scan or swipe anything other than the nominated/registered Visa or Mastercard. All a merchant needs to do is register with the scheme.
- The transaction is identified and processed in real time in the ‘back end’ of the merchants’ card services provider.
- The cardholder is notified (SMS, email or via online portal/app) with the reward details
This next evolution of Local Reward allows us to address much of the feedback we’ve heard from you all over the past few months, aiming to make everything as simple an streamlined as possible for our merchants and our cardholders.
You will be able to reward LOCAL customers for choosing to shop at your business without having to deduct a discount from your prices at your point of sale – this means you will not have to train floor staff on the processes of accepting a cardholder.
The technology also greatly improves the customer experience. Instead of having to carry around and present a separate Local Rewards card, customers only have to register their chosen bank card once online.
Customers will use a smartphone app to learn of offers located at LOCAL merchants and merchants will be able to tailor offers to customers based on their analysis of the data they receive.
Merchants will even be able to team up together to offer rewards: many of the customers at a car wash, for example, may also have a coffee at a nearby cafe. The technology will ultimately enable us to identify this trend and market accordingly.
We had intended for this full Local Rewards program to be our first product to launch, but the pandemic limited our capacity to develop and trial this technology effectively. As a result, we went with the minimum viable product which is the gift card now in circulation.
Our plan now is to complete the trial of the card linking technology, and then a full public launch in the new year of 2021.