January 11, 2017
By John Stewart
If loyalty programs are the key to boosting usage of new payments methods like mobile wallets, ease of rewards redemption could be even more critical. On Wednesday, terminal maker VeriFone Systems Inc. took a step in that direction by expanding the reach of its Points Redemption app, which allows consumers to cash in loyalty points at the point of sale.
The Points Redemption app displays a greeting on the POS terminal's screen.
San Jose, Calif.-based VeriFone said it is working with processor Fidelity National Information Services Inc. to let users of FIS’s Premium Payback Network redeem their card-linked loyalty points toward purchases on the spot. Jacksonville, Fla.-based FIS says its loyalty network enables redemptions for 8.5 million consumers using cards from some 3,100 banks. “Thousands” of gas stations nationwide are linked to the network, the company says.
“Today’s consumers have been digitally empowered and expect tomorrow’s payment and rewards capabilities today,” said Bruce Lowthers, executive vice president at FIS Global Retail Payments, in a statement. “The single integration point to brick-and-mortar retailers uniquely helps loyalty programs increase member touch points, while our relationship with VeriFone expands the reach to bring scalable loyalty points redemption to many more consumers.”
Numbers cited by VeriFone and FIS indicate that loyalty points worth as much as $16 billion are left unredeemed annually. At the same time, nearly 20% of Premium Payback Network users have chosen merchants because of the ability to redeem their rewards, FIS says.
Terminals running the VeriFone app display a prompt asking customers if they want to redeem points toward their purchase earned on the card they’ve dipped, swiped, or tapped. The company says the app is designed to process the redemption without slowing down checkout. The integration with FIS is provided by a payments hub from Richardson, Texas-based ModoPayments LLC.
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