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Visa unveils web3 loyalty platform allowing brands to create custom branded crypto wallets

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Visa has revealed a new web3 loyalty engagement solution designed to meet modern consumers’ evolving digital needs, offering immersive experiences like gamified rewards, augmented reality treasure hunts, and novel ways to utilize loyalty points.

The promotional video for the service states that

“traditional loyalty programs are simply an exchange of spend and reward, but consumers are demanding more in return for their loyalty. Web3 loyalty goes beyond expanding opportunities for brands to reward customers for everything…”

Kathleen Pierce-Gilmore, Visa’s SVP and Global Head of Issuing Solutions highlighted the changing landscape of consumer-brand interactions. She emphasized that the new digital loyalty solution enables brands to offer rewards for transactions and active customer engagement, facilitating seamless digital and real-world experiences. Pierce-Gilmore said,

“Consumers are looking to engage with brands in new ways, and traditional loyalty programs have not evolved over the past decade. Imagine earning a unique digital collectible, whether it’s from purchasing tickets for a sports event or participating in an augmented reality treasure hunt.”

Visa’s research reportedly indicates a shift in consumer expectations from loyalty programs, demanding rewards beyond traditional points-based systems. Consumers now seek engagement-based rewards, aligning with the fact that over 77% globally value real-world experiences, and 60% prefer experiences tailored to their preferences.

Visa’s new solution is planned to act as a bridge between web2 and web3 innovations, offering brands a “customizable enterprise platform” to create immersive experiences. Customers can use a digital wallet to apply rewards for experiences across various sectors, including travel and sports.

What is in the Visa Web3 loyalty platform?

Explicitly aimed at brands looking to evolve their loyalty rewards programs, the platform introduces digital collectibles as a core feature, diverging from traditional point-based systems. Customers can earn, redeem, and collect these digital assets, which can be interacted with in augmented reality (AR), located on maps, and used in various other interactive forms, enhancing the depth of the loyalty program experience.

This brand platform is reportedly designed for ease of use, eliminating the need for web3 developers in hopes of broadening its accessibility for brands to create and manage digital tokens, collectibles, and campaigns. It also features the ability for brands to develop custom-branded wallets with a two-click registration process aimed at simplifying user engagement. Thus, we could start seeing brand-affiliated web3 wallets hitting the marketplace in the near future. The platform also includes an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system with capabilities for real-time event triggers and first-party data management, which is essential for effective customer interaction and understanding.

Additionally, the solution offers a range of features for customer engagement. These include digital event tickets or sweepstakes, token-gated digital access for unlocking perks, loyalty coins usable in geo-fenced scavenger hunts, and digital coupons. These features are designed to add versatility to the loyalty program, allowing brands to customize their approach based on their specific audience and goals.

A significant feature of this solution is the ability to issue digital objects and experiences based on card transactions. This integration of Visa’s established digital payment solutions with the new web3 platform seeks to allow for a more seamless and integrated customer experience, potentially enhancing customer loyalty and ongoing engagement with the brand.

Tyler Moebius, CEO of SmartMedia Technologies, Visa’s web3 partner in the endeavor, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with Visa. He stressed that

“this collaboration is not just about enhancing customer rewards; it’s about redefining the value exchange between brands and consumers in a mobile payments-first world.”

SmartMedia Technologies uses a blockchain-agnostic protocol called the SmartNFT protocol. This protocol was developed by BLOCKv, a company they acquired. The protocol reportedly allows for the creation and emission of intelligent NFTs that can be dynamically minted to a number of leading blockchains. This means that SMT doesn’t rely on a single blockchain but can operate across multiple blockchains, providing flexibility and broad compatibility.

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