Loyalty startup PokitPal expands

Seven years after the World Economic Forum famously classified personal data as a new asset class – the 21st century’s “oil” – the retail sector is awash in loyalty programs, as businesses begin to explore new possibilities for monetising their customer data.

Myer One, Coles Flybuys, Priceline Sister Club – some of the biggest loyalty programs in the Australia provide a significant boost to the value, if not directly the profits, of the businesses that operate them.

And for the businesses that don’t have large enough customer databases or sufficient in-house resources to create their own loyalty program, a slew of shopping and payment apps have sprung up, promising various solutions for incentivising customers to buy from participating retailers. Often these apps are even free for retailers to join, since the real payout is access to customer data.

One such app is PokitPal, an Australian startup that invites consumers to pair their debit and credit cards with the app to gain access to exclusive deals at thousands of participating restaurants, shops and venues.

In March, the company signed a deal with MasterCard that was expected to take its user base from 150,000 to 500,000 and pave the way for international expansion in 2019.

Last week, PokitPal announced another major partnership with Visa that will see cardholders across Australia gain access to discounts and giveaways from participating retailers. The deal will also give Visa cardholders the ability to earn instant rewards, including cashback.

PokitPal CEO Gary Cobain said the partnership will allow the app to reach millions of additional customers across the country and help smaller businesses compete with larger players.

“Traditionally, loyalty programs have been limited to the large retailers because many organisations lack the budget and resources necessary for effective implementation,” he said.

“The PokitPal platform allows businesses of all sizes to entice new customers and encourage repeat business using the latest mobile marketing tools.”

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