Max Savransky

Max Savransky is Loyalty Director of Loyalty & Reward Co, a leading loyalty consulting firm based in Sydney. He has 10 years’ experience within the loyalty industry including roles at Mastercard Loyalty (Pinpoint), Silverneedle (Next & Sage Hotels) and Pureprofile. As Loyalty & CRM Manager at HOYTS, he launched the highly successful partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer, including a world-first Qantas Points in-store redemption proposition. He is an active cryptocurrency trader. Max regularly contributes to www.blockchainloyalty.io, a global resource centre for everything blockchain loyalty. Let’s connect! LinkedIn; maxsavransky,Twitter; @maxsavransky

Entire cities are going digital

UK & Israel based technology company Colu has signed a deal with UK’s Belfast City Council to launch a new city cryptotoken called Belfast Coin. This will be a city currency, designed to empower residents, local businesses, city authorities, and partners, bringing them together to help Belfast develop and thrive – to boost the city economy and help meet environmental goals.

Colu’s mobile payment app currently operates in four cities across UK and Israel, including Tel Aviv (where this cryptotoken has been adopted by around one-quarter of the city’s population so far). Essentially, they’ve created a digital currency ecosystem, designed to be used as a payment method via a digital wallet.

Like Tel Aviv, Belfast Coin will operate as a rewards platform, encouraging the Belfast public towards impactful behaviours to further improve the city. Unlike the Chinese Social Scorecard system however, this looks to be largely based on positive reinforcement.

Join

To join, city residents will be required to simply download the Colu app and connect a payment card as a funding source. Once the city currency has been earned for a variety of actions, residents will then be able to pay with it. Meanwhile, local businesses interested in pre-registering can do so here.

Earning

Residents will accumulate Belfast Coins in return for activities such as shopping at local businesses, volunteering, civic activity and beyond. By shopping via the Colu platform, they claim that members will get discounts and local offers. By motivating Belfast residents to make a positive difference, the Belfast Coin is thought to strengthen their connection to the city they live in.

What I find most interesting about this project is that participating residents (members) are rewarded in Belfast Coin for more than simply transactional activities within the merchant network, which is typically the proposition in any large-scale coalition loyalty program. It’s certainly positioned as a wonderful community play, but it remains to be seen whether it’s embraced by the population en masse and if there’s any actual value in it.

Redeeming / Payment

The coin will be accepted as payment at local businesses across the city, including shops, cafes, restaurants and more.

Funding

The retailers will be funding a percentage of the transaction back in Belfast Coin, while the Belfast City Council will likely fund all other coin earning activities spanning volunteering, civic duties and beyond. It would be interesting to peek under the hood of the commercial modelling, to see how much coin earn is forecasted to take place outside of merchant transaction activity.

Circling back to the fact that this is actually a floated cryptotoken; like so many other blockchain companies, the drop in value of Colu’s token has been significant, falling from a high of USD $0.065c in June 2018 to USD $0.0049c currently. Given that it’s live across 4 cities and one quarter of Tel Aviv is apparently using it, the exchange demand of $590 in the past 24 hours does not bode well for the future of this project.  

Max Savransky is Loyalty Director of Loyalty & Reward Co, a leading loyalty consulting firm based in Sydney. He has 10 years’ experience within the loyalty industry including roles at Mastercard Loyalty (Pinpoint), Silverneedle (Next & Sage Hotels) and Pureprofile. As Loyalty & CRM Manager at HOYTS, he launched the highly successful partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer, including a world-first Qantas Points in-store redemption proposition. Max consults on program design, commercial modelling and lifecycle strategy, across both traditional and blockchain loyalty projects.

Max is an active cryptocurrency trader and a key contributor to www.blockchainloyalty.io, a global resource centre for everything blockchain loyalty.

Let’s connect!

English Premier League club West Ham United partners with Socios to launch digital fan token

If, like me, you were wondering when cryptocurrency adoption may be mainstreamed and the industries that might drive it, sports and eSports would likely be near the top of your list.

Well, English Premier League soccer club West Ham United has just announced that they are launching a digital fan token on blockchain, via a partnership with a platform called Socios.com. Launch is expected in time for the start of the 2019/2020 season, commencing on 10 August.

Socios.com describes itself as a “new app for football fans” which gives users unprecedented access to voting rights to their favourite clubs. Having already inked deals with European mega-clubs Juventus and Paris St. Germain, West Ham United is the first English Premier League club to sign up.

In 2018, Socios.com’s native cryptotoken chiliZ (CHZ) received significant investment from Binance and Bancor, managing to hit their hard cap of USD$65m.

In West Ham United’s official announcement, the club describes the blockchain initiative as: “A first-of-its-kind mobile app for football fans, where fans acquire the ability to vote – by buying, earning or hunting for Fan Tokens – on selected club decisions, earn club rewards and compete for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”

To acquire West Ham United tokens, fans will either have to first buy CHZ and trade them, earn or ‘hunt’ them. The actions required to earn tokens has not yet been announced and as for hunting, let’s hope there is a proper Augmented Reality element to the app, allowing fans to search for them at matches and even outside of the stadium.

I should also note that because the token is exchange tradeable, it will be subject to the same type of volatility that a standard cryptocurrency will be. How this impacts fan decision making, if at all, is unclear at this stage.

I think that giving fans the ability to vote on club decisions, with that voting being directly proportional to the number of tokens held is actually genius, mainly because avid football fans will absolutely want to participate in club decisions. From an engagement point of view, there are two things here.

  1. At launch, the club must be committed to delivering a range of decisions that fans can really sink their teeth into. Not only should there be a range of different decisions to participate in, but there should also be good regularity with which these requests to participate are filtering through.

Here are some examples of decisions that fans could be asked to participate in (taken from the Socios.com whitepaper):

  • For football teams: choosing the team’s 3rd Jersey designs, influencing line-ups in friendly matches, choosing between fan offerings.
  • For eSports teams (where applicable): match-ups for teams to compete against at events, exhibition games and practice matches.
  • For teams built from the ground up to run on Socios.com: which players are drafted onto the team (chosen from an eligible draft pool).
  • There must be a significant number of token earning and hunting opportunities available for fans. If the strategy mainly rests on the purchase of the CHZ token, this will restrict the potential of many fans to participate in decisions (due to lack of token holdings), thereby hampering long term engagement.

Whilst this is a different model to a pure loyalty program design, I think that if executed correctly, it has a lot of potential because of that emotional connection of a fan to their favourite club and their desire to participate in the decision making. If this program can also deliver significant value with respect to ongoing token earning and hunting opportunities, as well as a range of interesting redemption options, they’ll be on to a winner.

Max Savransky is Loyalty Director of Loyalty & Reward Co, a leading loyalty consulting firm based in Sydney. He has 10 years’ experience within the loyalty industry including roles at Mastercard Loyalty (Pinpoint), Silverneedle (Next & Sage Hotels) and Pureprofile. As Loyalty & CRM Manager at HOYTS, he launched the highly successful partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer, including a world-first Qantas Points in-store redemption proposition. Max consults on program design, commercial modelling and lifecycle strategy, across both traditional and blockchain loyalty projects.

Max is an active cryptocurrency trader and a key contributor to www.blockchainloyalty.io, a global resource centre for everything blockchain loyalty.

Let’s connect!

Samsung Galaxy S10 may come with a native cryptocurrency wallet

Even though the cryptocurrency trading market remains in a persistent bear market for the past year, Samsung has indicated it may feature a cryptocurrency wallet in its Galaxy S10 flagship smart phone.

Reports suggest that it will be integrated through Samsung Pay, which is its flagship digital payments platform.

Samsung Pay has more than 10 million users in South Korea alone, who utilise the app to settle day-to-day payments. It dominates the country’s digital payment sector, partly due to its $200 million acquisition of LoopPay which allowed Samsung Pay to use its magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology, an alternative to NFC that is used by Apple Pay and KakaoPay.

Although Samsung has not released an official statement regarding the rumours of a potential crypto wallet launch, it absolutely makes sense:

  • The innovation will support the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, not only in the Korean market, but at a global level.
  • Samsung will boost its appeal to millennial users who perceive cryptocurrencies as an efficient and alternative means of payment method over traditional systems.
  • Cryptocurrency users will benefit from a native app that prioritizes security vs downloading unknown apps from a less trusted source.

Of course, if Samsung Pay is involved, my expectation is that in time, users will be able to not only securely store their crypto, but also seamlessly pay with it at any location where Samsung Pay is accepted. Therefore, industry experts foresee a significant improvement in the infrastructure supporting cryptocurrencies.

Now, that’s big news indeed.

Max Savransky is Loyalty Director of Loyalty & Reward Co, a leading loyalty consulting firm based in Sydney. He has 10 years’ experience within the loyalty industry including roles at Mastercard Loyalty (Pinpoint), Silverneedle (Next & Sage Hotels) and Pureprofile. As Loyalty & CRM Manager at HOYTS, he launched the highly successful partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer, including a world-first Qantas Points in-store redemption proposition. He is an active cryptocurrency trader.

Max regularly contributes to www.blockchainloyalty.io, a global resource centre for everything blockchain loyalty.