Mobile Loyalty

Witness the Oncoming Banking Revolution via Blockchain and Mobile Payments

 Over the past two years, both established companies and new startups have been investing heavily in improving their blockchain and mobile payment infrastructure. A blockchain is defined as a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of data records secured from tampering and revision. The benefits of increased security and near-instantaneous availability of funds will radically change how we currently view online mobile payments.

    There are four major reasons why blockchain will revolutionize mobile payments:

  1.  Increased mobile payment security
  2.  Instant access to funds
  3.  Expansion of digital wallets
  4.  Reduction in the cost of remittance fees

    Mobile payments have often been considered vulnerable given the exponential growth of mobile payment fraud especially fraud and duplicate charging. The blockchain has the ability to reduce, if not eliminate, this vulnerability since transactions are logged into a permanent ledger that is impervious to tampering. In addition, the distributed record of financial transfers and extremely secure user accounts will provide a significant barrier to any cybercriminal activity.

    The second benefit of blockchain technology is the near-instantaneous availability of funds following a financial transfer. Currently, Bitcoin transfers often take several minutes to go through while other mobile payments transfers take several hours to finalize. The blockchain will revolutionize this payment transfer through use of significantly faster networks. By the time you finish reading this sentence, the funds transferred from one account to another will be fully available.

    Another benefit of the blockchain is the near-elimination of almost all other methods of payments. Check payments were all-but-eliminated with the invention of the ATM. In the same way, the blockchain will complete the transformation to a nearly cashless society relegating cash and credit cards as obsolete relics. With the ability to use multiple signature methods for verifying purchases and the promise of a reduction of fees on online purchases through enhanced security, the digital wallet will rapidly become the payment method of choice in today's economy.

    The last significant benefit of blockchain is significantly reduced remittance fees. As reported by theWorld Bank, the cost of sending remittances was 7.37% as of December 2015. Blockchain promises to greatly reduce if not eliminated transfer and processing fees providing a significant economic benefit to its users.

    Blockchain and mobile payments promises to change the way we currently think about online payments through enhanced security, instant fund availability and reduced fees. In the years to come, blockchain stands to become the payment method of choice across the globe.

The benefits of mobile wallets and knowing the most appropriate one for you

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We all have several cards that we carry on a daily basis. These cards range from several credit and debit cards, loyalty or gift cards, a driver’s license to membership cards for such places as the library or the sports club. If we are to store all these cards in our wallets, they would be too bulky, even though we were to put them in our backpacks, they would still be a load for us.

With all these cards to carry, we all long for that day when we will be able to hold our phone and be able to access all the cards you need for that specific day. Through a mobile app, mobile wallets are taking us a step closer to the realization of that aspiration. The mobile app can consolidate the credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards onto the phone.

However, these mobile wallets have become so many such that choosing the one that fits you well is now becoming a hurdle. One of the ways of determining the mobile wallet that suits your needs is by considering its functionality for different card types as discussed below.

Credit & Debit Cards

Primarily, your mobile wallet should store your debit and credit cards securely. Storing is not enough, but the wallet should allow you to pay with these cards using your cell phone. A good mobile wallet should enable you to store a variety of cards, such as branded cards, national and local bank cards as well as major brands cards.

Loyalty Cards

Almost every store, restaurant, boutique or supermarket you frequently visit will offer you a loyalty card. You obviously want to earn discounts and freebies from these places, but if they all give you a physical loyalty card, you will end up having a hefty stack of these cards. For this reason, you should choose a mobile wallet that allows you to store all your loyalty cards and enable you to track the points in every card.

Gift Cards

According to an article by Robert Teitelman and Lawrence C. Strauss, close to $1 billion in gift card went unredeemed in 2015. Gift cards go unredeemed because some are lost, others are forgotten while in others, unused balances left on the cards after a purchase goes to waste. You want a digital wallet that will help you spend every coin on the cards.

At Netclearance we offer the mBeaconPay, a turn-key mobile payment smart terminal and software solution which is a perfect match for all your mobile wallet need.

Boost Brand Loyalty Through Private Mobile Wallets

The goal of organizations today is to make the customer experience simple, seamless, and accurate. When combined with great products, these attributes can help organizations build brands that drive customer loyalty. This loyalty is the treasure that every organization is searching for, and branded mobile wallets help retailers boost customer loyalty

It would be difficult not to think of Apple Pay or Android Pay immediately when considering mobile wallets. While these are great mobile services, retailers and banks are starting to see the loyalty advantage of creating their own mobile wallets. These organizations are implementing Mobile Wallets with the understanding that they must reward loyalty to build loyalty. 

Organizations have found two clear ways to reward customer loyalty through delivering their own mobile wallets. First, they reward their customers by saving them time. They do this by allowing them to initiate and complete their business through an easy to use interface. Second, they have integrated their organizations rewards systems to these apps to provide customer with further incentive to utilize their mobile wallet.

By finding ways to save their customers both time and money, retailers are seeing an increase in brand loyalty. This is not surprising, since time and money are two of the most valued resources in this fast-paced society. Fortunately, Netclearance offers simple, seamless, and accurate, turn-key solutions for retailers and banks to implement their own branded wallets. With this technology, any organization can now bolster their brand loyalty by giving customers control of their time and money. 

Branded mobile wallets help retailers boost customer loyalty

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Although the Uber moment for banks arrived last year, there is still time for them to create new revenue streams, or face the consequences of not doing so.  Decreasing revenue and increasing costs are forcing banks, including big names such as Bank of America and BNY, to lay off employees and automate functions. This tactic of slashing costs can be helpful up to a point, but what about exploiting new markets and technologies to create business and healthier balance sheets?

The mobile payments space is full of competition, with upstarts like Square and titans like Google and Apple all vying for a slice of the market. However, it still presents growth opportunities for banks. Customers want an app that allows them easy access to products they like, which Apple, Google, and Square have all failed to deliver.

On the other hand, Starbucks has enjoyed the rewards that come with their successful mobile payment and reward application. By building a product that works for both their customers and for the company, they have seen enormous success, with 21% of all Starbucks transactions involving their loyalty program. Their loyalty program is easy to use, and encourages spending, meaning those on both sides of the exchange leave happy.

How can banks create an equally tangible and profitable product? Banks have access to huge, proprietary data about their customers’ spending habits, which some have begun using to offer customers more personalized experiences and recommendations. When combined with partnerships with outside retailers and firms, this data could be used to drive spending and create customer satisfaction on a larger scale than the loyalty program for a single company.

Of course, banks are not technology companies by nature, and it requires a huge amount of work to bring a viable and useful product to market. Netclearance Systems Inc can help, with its existing technologies and experience in the fast-growing space of mobile payments. Its services, such as mBeaconPay, can help ensure client satisfaction with mobile banking apps by refining existing recommendation technologies. In doing so, Netclearance can contribute to client retention and creation.

Effective wallet strategies give financial institutions an edge in a mobile centric world

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Financial Institutions' Mobile Wallet Strategies are becoming a top concern as banking is more frequently completed via mobile wallets. According to an article on PaymentsSource.com, 2.6 billion people in the world now own smartphones, and by 2020 that number is likely to jump to 6.1 billion, or 70 percent of the world's population. Further, it is now estimated that 69 percent of mobile users conduct their banking via their mobile device, or "mobile wallet."

Pymnts.com reports that, according to a study by Javelin, in 2014 most people who conducted banking via their mobile wallets did so using their financial institutions' mobile banking app. However, in 2015, this trend changed, and PayPal and Visa apps surpassed financial institution apps as the preferred mobile wallet providers. This new trend tends to leave financial institutions "out of the loop" when it comes to mobile wallet transactions. Further, rather than developing their own mobile wallet-friendly apps, they are relying on third parties such as Apple Pay and Android Pay.

So how can financial institutions step up their game? First, they will have to modify their perception of customer service to pertain to mobile interaction, placing less emphasis on factors like bank location and face-to-face interaction and more emphasis on factors like app development. Second, according to an article in Mobile Payments Today, financial institutions should develop "stepping-stones" toward the mobile scene, such as cardless ATMs. Finally, according to the same article, financial institutions should implement customer value and loyalty programs for customers who use their apps. 

Netclearance offers products, a plan, and the technology that is synonymous with the mobile wallet. As consumers choose to pay daily using their cell phones at various merchant locations, it is time for financial institutions to extend their arm of influence and corner this market. Facilitated by mBeaconPay technology, Netclearance eliminates the middle man so common in these transactions and offers a streamlined system between only the customer, the merchant, and the bank. 

 

 

How to Develop an Effective Mobile Loyalty Program with Smart Beacons

So you have decided to jump at the idea of starting a mobile loyalty program for your business, now what?  What are the next steps you should take?  How will you go about creating your program?  We shall provide answers to these questions for you now.

 

Come Up With a Plan

First answer the question, "will it be geared toward individual consumers or businesses?  This is an important factor to ponder.  You will need to tailor your program to the type of clients you are aiming to attract.  It is possible to cater to both, individuals AND businesses.  In that case, you would likely want to develop two separate programs to accommodate the specific needs of each type of patron.

 

What Features Will You Include?

It is important for you to plan what features you want to include in your loyalty program.  For instance, will repeat customers earn points toward their reward?  Do you have another plan in mind for how they go about accumulating credits for their purchases? 

After you decide this, you must figure out what form the reward itself will take.  Will it be a deeply discounted item or a free one?  Will there be a monetary limit to what that offer can be applied to?  Will there be any kind of limit on how often rewards can be redeemed?  These are all necessary features to decide upon before you hire somebody to develop your program.

 

Sound Advice for Creating Your Program

First, it is advisable to make a list of everything you want to include in your loyalty program.  This will be the basis of the program so do not leave anything out, write down all details.

The most critical aspect of this whole loyalty thing is to hire the right company to design your program.  Netclearance can guide you every step of the way.  With smart beacon loyalty solutions like Bounty you want to ensure you keep customers returning to your business.

The API-fication of Payments in Retail Leads to Smart & Frictionless Transactions

Application Programming Interface (API) technology is the wave of the future, changing the way businesses around the world develop software for various applications. There is one area, however, where API is not being widely utilized. At Netclearance, we provide our clients with APIs for retail payments, offering solutions that are revolutionizing mobile payments in the offline world.

What is API technology?

API refers to a series of routines, protocols, and tools that are used for building software applications. These applications are utilized for a variety of different purposes, such as web streaming and networking. However, API for payments is pretty rare in the offline world, indicating an area of untapped potential. With the API-based approach for payments in the brick-and-mortar world developed by Netclearance, we help our clients tap into that potential.

How API for Payments Works

Today's offline multiparty model for payments is extremely involved, incorporating consumers, different categories of banks, merchants, merchant processors, card networks, and much more. This excessive amount of parties makes for a convoluted and fee heavy system. The online multiparty model for payments is slightly better, involving more streamlined communication between the different parties. However, we think a more streamlined method is possible in the offline world.

Here at Netclearance, we promote a more streamlined three-party model without middle-men, involving just the merchant, the consumer, and the bank, facilitated by our mBeaconPay technology. mBeaconPay allows for the use of mobile devices for cashless transactions at the POS. While many other companies offer mobile solutions, they are simply disguised versions of the excessively complicated multiparty and card-centric solution. Only with Netclearance you will find such an innovative API-based approach for payments without the fees and risks associated with credit card based systems.

When you go with Netclearance's smart payment terminals and APIs, you will be able to take your exisitng POS to the next level with API for payments that allows for cashless, fast and secure mobile transactions. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you implement your own mobile wallet fast and easy without the hassle of PCI, HCE or any other legacy compliance.

Nordic Countries Becoming Cashless Societies?

Denmark and Sweden are on the way to becoming Cashless Societies in coming years. In another post this blog addressed recent news in Denmark, where they are considering legislation that would allow select benefits to refuse cash payments.

Now, Sweden has taken another step to make cash less of a necessity and more of a burden. Their banks are making it harder for Swedes to hold onto cash. 

The Sverige Riksbank, Sweden's central bank, recently decided to keep its benchmark interest rate at -0.35%. The banks they lend to actually lose out by holding onto the money. Retail banks have not yet imposed negative interest rates, but they might. The cost of that negative interest lending has to be soaked up or passed on to businesses and individuals. 

Swedish retail banks are encouraging people to move away from cash in other ways. Swedish banks have also started to remove cash ATMs in rural areas. If people aren't using much cash, they must not need the ATMs. This move roughly corresponds with a drop in the amount of cash in circulation. 

A Business Insider article reports that the value of paper Kronor in circulation has dropped, from about 100 billion in 2009 to around 80 billion in 2014.

In a relatively cash-free Sweden citizens will have to either spend money or let the bank take it, in the form of negative interest. They'll likely spend their money, electronically, spurring economic growth. 

In short, Sweden is using less and less cash in an environment. Negative interest rates are a reality for banks and a real possibility for businesses and individuals.

Netclearance at Retail Business Technology Expo 2016

Netclearance at Retail Business Technology Expo 2016

 

On March 9th, we will be attending the annual Retail Business Technology Expo at the Olympia in London. The event is a great place for retailers from all areas of the industry to come and learn about all the latest tech and services that can help them to increase productivity, reduce costs and improve the customer experience. It is the ideal place to keep up to date with all the latest solutions, tools and tactics.

 

We will be showcasing our mBeaconPay technology and our CEO David Fernandez will also be hosting a speaking session, ‘Creating a cashless society – disruptive technology for the retail payments sector’ at 13:15 on 9th March in the Payments Theatre.

 

During the speaker session, David will share his insights into the roll-out of the mobile payments system that has revolutionised payments in major supermarkets and fast food outlets in Denmark and Norway. He will also discuss how the highly disruptive technology takes transactions direct from bank to retailer, not only changing the value chain by removing merchant fees, acquirers and PSPs from the fee structure, but also enhances security as there is less chance of fraud or error.

 

We will also be exhibiting our complete range of proximity beacon technology, including BLE, WiFi and RFID sensors, for proximity marketing, real-time tracking, customer engagement and Business Intelligence on stand 124. We will demonstrate how beacons for mobile payments and proximity marketing for retailers, banks and merchants can be combined and used for coupons and loyalty schemes.

 For more information or to arrange an interview with David Fernandez, CEO of Netclearance contact Bright Bee PR: Netclearance@brightbee.co.uk or on 020 8819 3170.

Smart Mobile Loyalty Strategies Boost Customer Engagement and Profits

One simple yet powerful strategy at the forefront of any successful business is that company's customer loyalty program.  With such a strategy returning customers are rewarded for their patronage, often with a tremendously discounted, or sometimes completely free, item of the customer's choosing.  Now companies can take that a step further and, with the aid of today's technology, implement a mobile loyaltyprogram.  Exactly what is that?  Let's find out now.

General Definition

A mobile rewards program is basically the same thing as a typical customer loyalty rewards program, the difference being the customer utilizes it through their SmartPhone or tablet.  Nowadays a high percentage of the public uses some form of mobile technology, including for payment methods and customer rewards programs. 

Why Use a Mobile Customer Rewards Program?

The biggest reason is that it is more convenient for the customer than carrying around a card in their wallet.  Instead that business' rewards system is used by something they carry anyhow - their mobile phone.  Rewards points are accumulated in the same manner as with a physical card but are stored on, and cashed in from, the person's mobile device.

Advantage for Businesses

Having a mobile customer rewards program is great for business because it makes it easy for customers to use it.  This is a huge incentive for them to keep returning time and time again.  They do not have to waste time searching for a physical card.  Instead they can pull out their phone and press an app button for that merchant.  Your business will be treating your customer's phone as a loyalty rewards card. 

How Does This Type of Program Work?

You set up an attractive-looking kiosk inside your business that invites your customers to come over.  When they do, a friendly employee will encourage them to participate in YOUR business' mobile customer loyalty program.  As an added bonus your business can offer them the option of receiving pertinent text messages that are related to your program. 

Netclearance offers a turn-key mobile loyalty program called  Bounty  that can kick-start your mobile loyalty initiatives with a low-entry cost and support for the major mobile platforms. Contact us and visit www.bountyusa.com to request more information.

Revolutionizing Proximity Payments Technology

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Over the past few decades, we have seen society's preferred mode of payment shift from physical currency to debit cards and credit cards. As time goes on, other forms of payment have emerged, and are poised to take over as our new preferred method of payment. Proximity payments technology is but one of these technologies, and consists of the use of smartphones in order to transfer funds between businesses and customers in exchange for products and services, transcending industries and finding more nuanced uses every day. According to eMarketer.com, proximity payments in the United States handled $8.7 billion in transactions for the year 2015. For 2016, experts expect this number to climb as high as $27 billion. If this trend continues, this means that this technology will be the main method of financial transaction by 2019.

How Does Proximity Payment Work?

Proximity payment technology consists of an exchange between a smartphone and another compatible device via Bluetooth technology, where the smartphone acts similarly to a debit or credit card, connected to a customer's bank account. Of course, this means that both devices in a proximity payment exchange need to have Bluetooth capabilities, but as time goes on, more and more devices are becoming Bluetooth compatible.

Netclearance vs. Other Proximity Payment Technologies

As proximity payment technologies have become more popular, many companies have tried to jump on this trend, each with varying degrees of success. Examples include Android Pay, ApplePay, and Samsung Pay. While each of these technologies are innovative, they all have their own issues that impede ease of access, including:

  • Usable only on phones they manufacture (walled garden effect)
  • Credit card based systems
  • User data shared with Google and other sites
  • No options for customization
  • Added fees

With our mBeaconPay technology at Netclearance, we want to help our users break away from these constricting qualifications, offering freedom through features such as:

  • Phone agnostic (supports all smartphones regardless of make and model)
  • App-based
  • User data shared only with relevant banks and retailers
  • No or low transaction fees
  • Customizable (white-label)

With such a stark contrast, it's clear why mBeaconPay available here at Netclearance is more effective than its competitors. Contact us today to find out more!

The Future of Cryptocurrencies in Retail is here

In an increasingly digitized society, computers and the internet are changing every aspect of our daily lives, including the way we pay for products and services. Dollars, coins, and checks are slowly being replaced by debit cards and credit cards with magnetic bars and chips. As time goes on, a new competitor emerges, one that's even more sophisticated. Known as cryptocurrencies, digital currencies such as Bitcoin are beginning to replace standard versions of currency. However, many businesses still are not equipped to allow consumers to use cryptocurrencies in retail, meaning that there is a large volume of potential revenue retailers are not taking advantage of.

Why are Bitcoins excluded from retail?

Bitcoin is still a relatively new technology, with a lifespan of only a few short years. It goes without saying that it will take some time for this technology to mature and become more popular, both with consumers and with retailers. Traditional card reader terminals are unable to accept cloud-based bitcoin payments and interact with bitcoin wallets.

At the same time, there are steps we can take to get ahead of the game.

How can Netclearance help with cryptocurrencies in retail?

With the mBeaconPay platform offered here at Netclearance, we can help close the gap between consumer and retailer, allowing both parties to use Bitcoin effortlessly. Our platform integrates seamlessly with retail cash registers, allowing the acceptance of Bitcoin. As more and more companies get started on this new technology, more and more customers will want to use it.

It's never too late to get started with the currency of the future. Netclearance is here to help your business reach more consumers in the digital age.