Even for the retailers, cost of issuing and maintaining these plastic cards is proving to be a headache.
All this could be a thing of the past, thanks to the humble mobile phone. A new concept, called mobile loyalty cards, promises to bring much needed relief to the plastic card holders and issuers alike. With the arrival of mobile loyalty cards, customers do not have to go through the pain of carrying different plastic cards with them. Instead, a simple mobile phone could carry the information about different loyalty cards of airlines, hotels and retail outlets.
“Mobile loyalty cards rest on a mobile phone. We fill all the details of the customer on to his mobile phone—name, date of birth, phone number, address and even the customer’s picture. Within three minutes, a mobile loyalty card is created and an ID number is allocated to the customer. Thus, the customers need not carry different plastic cards with them,” says Vineet Narang, CEO, MobiQuest.
Here’s how the concept works. The loyalty card of the customer lies in her mobile phone only and a unique identification number is allotted to the customer after filling in all the details. After every transaction, the customer can produce that loyalty card and thus earn points. And any simple mobile phone can be used for this. To put it simply, customers just have to flash their mobile loyalty card after every transaction and the points will be accrued to them.
Raj Singh, managing director, ActiveMedia Technology says, “Mobile loyalty cards (MLC) work by turning the mobile into a digital loyalty card. The MLC concept is that a mobile phone can replace traditional loyalty cards. It has a huge potential.”
According to him, there are several problems with the traditional plastic cards, which can be addressed by mobile loyalty cards. These include costs incurred by high issuance and ongoing maintenance costs—lost, damaged and stolen cards. With the arrival of mobile loyalty cards, these can be drastically reduced and it is easy to sign up as well.
Mobile loyalty cards are an easy and attractive solution, instead of giving plastic loyalty cards to consumers. The bigger benefit