Coffee, doughnut, and breakfast sandwich aficionados can now pay with credit and debit cards and even cash and still earn points in Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc.’s DD Perks loyalty program at more than 1,000 test stores, Dunkin’ announced this week.
DD Perks is one of the nation’s largest rewards programs, with more than 10 million members. Previously, customers could earn DD Perks points only if they paid with an enrolled Dunkin’ gift card or Dunkin’s mobile app, which uses QR codes for payments, linked to an enrolled gift card. Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’, which recently dropped “Donuts” from its corporate name, said Tuesday that it tested multi-tender loyalty purchases at some stores in California and Pennsylvania earlier this year. Now it’s adding another 1,000.
At the test stores, customers can earn points by scanning a new physical loyalty card, or by scanning a QR code in the Dunkin’ mobile app that has their DD Perks identification data, before paying with cash or general-purpose cards. Points earned on the purchase and the customer’s total points balance are included on the printed receipt.
The test also extends to mobile wallets. “Guests will be able to earn points if they pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc., as long as they have their loyalty ID code—either in the Dunkin’ app or on their physical loyalty card—scanned before payment,” a Dunkin’ spokesperson tells Digital Transactions News by email.
Dunkin’ said in a news release that it will evaluate customer and franchisee reaction to the test before deciding whether to expand it. Dunkin’ had 9,419 U.S. franchised locations at the end of 2018, many of which also are Baskin-Robbins ice-cream stores.
“Since launching DD Perks five years ago, we have consistently enhanced our members’ experience and worked to meet their needs through innovative new features, like On-the-Go Mobile Ordering, driving it to become one of the fastest-growing loyalty programs in the industry,” Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, Dunkin’s U.S. vice president of digital and loyalty marketing, said in a statement. “With this pilot, we have the opportunity to bring more guests than ever into DD Perks by opening new options to translate any purchase into points.”
Tom Caporaso, chief executive of Rocky Hill, Conn.-based loyalty software developer Clarus Commerce LLC, calls Dunkin’s action a “smart move” because it “doesn’t alienate customers that don’t have a bank or mobile phone.”
“Today consumers want loyalty programs that seamlessly fit their current lifestyle and habits, so it’s important for brands to understand their customers and build their program accordingly,” Caporaso says by email. “Dunkin’ clearly recognized an opportunity to expand payment options, and by being more inclusive to all customers Dunkin’ is set up to drive loyalty across its entire customer base.”
Each dollar spent at Dunkin’ gives a DD Perks member five points, with 200 points the threshold for a free drink. Dunkin’s test expansion comes at a time when rival Starbucks Corp. is rejiggering its Starbucks Rewards program to allow members to earn points, or “Stars,” sooner.