Local fintech firm partners with blockchain developer for loyalty program

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Filipino loyalty solutions company Appsolutely has announced its partnership with peer-to-peer blockchain platform developer NEM Foundation for the integration of blockchain technology into its products and services in order to change the face of customer loyalty and rewards programs in the country.

Appsolutely founder and CEO Patrick Palacios (Photo from his Facebook page)

Appsolutely founder and CEO Patrick Palacios (Photo from his Facebook page)

Appsolutely’s unified loyalty system dubbed LoyalPlatform will be built on blockchain technology developed by NEM.

LoyalPlatform uses LoyalCoin, a digital currency or token replacing rewards points, stored in the LoyalWallet. These points may be redeemed anytime and anywhere within a wide selection of merchants.

Under the traditional system, reward points are used only for the same merchant and points earned from multiple loyalty programs are hard to keep track.

Aside from using LoyalCoin to redeem rewards within the ecosystem or from participating establishments, consumers may also use the digital currency to make purchases, pay utility bills, make money transfers, and convert it to another currency such as bitcoin, among others.

Blockchain technology, which is now sweeping the world by storm, makes these possible with its strong, secure, and cost-effective system of managing transactions. The technology eliminates complexities and integrates seamlessly with existing systems.

“Blockchain is the new Internet,” said Patrick Palacios, Appsolutely’s founder, president, and chief executive officer.

The NEM Blockchain in particular is able to process at an industry-leading speed of 4,000 transactions per second. Its Proof-of-Importance algorithm makes monitoring of transactions and reward points easier for both the merchant and the consumer via the app or website.

It also allows Appsolutely to control aspects of the transaction, specifically those relating to customer data and privacy.

Additionally, the partnership will spawn the first Blockchain Center in the Philippines, one of the series of Blockchain Labs to be built across Southeast Asia.

Targeted for opening in the first quarter of 2018, the Appsolutely-NEM Blockchain Center will function as a co-working space where students, aspiring entrepreneurs and blockchain engineers can go and learn everything about blockchain technology.

“In terms of leadership, we partnered with the right platform and the right blockchain company so we’re pretty excited with this opportunity to work with them so we can discuss our plans moving forward,” said Palacios.

Appsolutely will pilot its unified loyalty and rewards system in the Philippines in December via popular milk tea brand Gong Cha and is looking to increase its participating establishments by 2018.

To boost its ecosystem, talks with various establishments here and overseas, including Thailand and New York, are ongoing as the fintech firm also plans to launch in North America, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Europe. Meanwhile, talks with payment centers are also in progress.

Asked about the country’s readiness for blockchain technology, Palacios said, “In the Philippines, we are barely starting. But in the US, all the Fortune 500 companies are starting their own blockchain initiative. It’s so hot right now. And we’re excited that we’re starting it here in the Philippines.”

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