Eligma offers a solution called Elipay, which is effectively a way to pay with a selected range of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ether as a start) via an app, across 130 online and offline retailers in Slovenia.
Additionally, the Elipay app has its own cryptotoken called ELI. The company raised US $10m in May to help them deliver on their vision of launching the app (which they’ve done), but what I’m unsure about is how demand for the ELI token will be generated, if retailers have a choice between accepting that and a well-known cryptocurrency.
At launch, Eligma’s CEO Dejan Roljic stated:
“The Eligma company is convinced that the advantages of the latest technologies including blockchain should become part of mainstream commerce, making it more efficient and user-friendly. Elipay caters to the new niche of crypto shoppers, growing as we speak. Merchants and service providers are increasingly aware of this market opportunity: the number of stores accepting Elipay is getting bigger on a daily basis.”
For me, there are 2 things here:
- Mainstream cryptocurrency acceptance by retailers will be predicated on stability (i.e. them not having to carry the risk of cryptocurrency fluctuations). Immediate merchant settlement in fiat is actually a feature of this platform, which is great to see.
- What is currently considered ‘niche’ in terms of the volume of people shopping with crypto is likely to evolve into a major force in the coming years, especially when you consider that we’re moving towards a cashless society and digital currencies are likely to help speed up that adoption.
We are starting to see more and more payment type solutions coming into the market, because the trend across consumer loyalty is moving in that direction. Initiatives such as card linked offers will become a lot more commonplace in 2019 and beyond.
The other thing I like about this app is that its bolstered by an AI shopping assistant called Elly, which is effectively a chatbot programmed to find the best deals based on a user’s personal preferences. This bot can thus be used to aid selection and act as an advisor of sorts and should get smarter the more it’s used.
So, what we’ve got here is an app with capabilities spanning payments (online + bricks & mortar), cryptocurrencies and AI. Pretty cool.
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.