While the protracted crypto bear market continues unabated, a number of companies are busy building global loyalty platform solutions using blockchain as the foundation layer.
One such company is Momentum Protocol, who have a grand vision of delivering a blockchain platform which will be used daily by hundreds of millions of consumers to earn, redeem and manage their loyalty points.
Loyalty & Reward Co were privileged to speak with Kees de Vos, CEO of Momentum Protocol;
Momentum have a massive global vision for blockchain loyalty. Tell us how you’re going to change the loyalty landscape and the benefits consumers can look forward to.
Loyalty has some fundamental issues today, both from the consumer and company/brand side. Loyalty points have lost their value in the eyes of the consumer, as they are too hard to earn and often too complex to redeem. For companies running loyalty systems, they simply don’t provide the ROI they were looking for; consumers are not significantly more loyal, don’t spend significantly more and are not necessarily cheaper to market to. Furthermore, the perceived data opportunity is often not realised.
Using the Momentum Protocol, companies can easily convert their existing or create a new loyalty program to a blockchain based, standardised environment and even launch their own loyalty token, should they want to do so. The standard removes the technical and operational barriers for consumers to easily swap their tokens from one loyalty program to the next and thus providing much needed liquidity. For companies it means an opportunity to easily create alliances with companies that follow the same standard, which increases their addressable audience substantially, and gives them a platform that provides them with much better data insight. Not only regarding consumer behaviour in their own eco-system, but also outside it.
What critical role does blockchain play in the Momentum Eco-System?
The blockchain was a natural technology choice to form the foundation for the Momentum platform. To start with, loyalty points are a virtual currency and it has been proven that the best technology available to move these virtual currencies in a secure, transparent, global and cost efficient manner is blockchain. Other virtual currencies like Bitcoin, are proving this day in, day out. In addition to being a perfect, global ledger, it also provides an immutable transaction record, which we not only use for the processing of loyalty points, but also to manage access to the consumers’ user profile for example. This instils trust in the system and gives control over their user data back to the consumer.
Explain the difference between Momentum Token (MMTM) and the brand-based tokens created for individual programs running on the Momentum Eco-system?
When companies join the Momentum platform, they will be able to launch their own token – e.g. Hungry Jacks will reward their customers in Hungry Jacks Tokens and Qantas will use the Qantas token. Each token will have its own, fixed value, rather than something that goes up and down due to market speculation. This would not be acceptable by a lot of retailers. The Momentum Token is a token that is solely required to get access to the system (a payment token for participating companies) and is also instrumental in providing a single reference of value to enable global transfer of tokens (a utility token, in this role). The Momentum Token will be the token that is publicly available and which may change in value due to the market’s demand.
You are running an ICO at present. How much are you looking to raise? What will you do with the funds?
We have passed our softcap earlier this year, which was set at €2.5M, which means we have been able to start our development and we are now preparing for our roll-out to market. We have of course raised more since then and will continue to do so. We will not do a ‘traditional’ public sale; although we will sell our tokens to members of the public in the new year, our focus is to partner with larger token buyers, such as dedicated blockchain investment funds and companies that are interested in joining our platform.
We are planning to use the funds raised, as follows:
- Ongoing development and maintenance of the Momentum Protocol and Eco-system
- Continuously harden the infrastructure and software for security, performance and other non-functional system requirements
- Functional development, further optimising core product capabilities and additional functional expansion
- Operational system evolution and infrastructure
- Team expansion, establishment of near-shore capabilities
- Marketing & Sales
- Proposition development, evangelising token-based loyalty and rewards
- Promote global protocol adoption through technical events and hackathons
- Establishing global offices to support global growth
- Partner network expansion
- Partner specific development
- Partner enablement and success
- Partner marketing
- Customer delivery & success
- Operating capital
One of the hardest tasks for any loyalty platform provider is selling in the solution to different merchants. What is your strategy to succeed here globally?
We have a partner-centric strategy. We are focused on the acquisition of three types of partners that can help us scale (in no particular order);
- Technology partners: Partners who we develop joint solutions with that help both our chances to succeed in the market and increase our use cases to serve our mutual (potential) customers.
- Implementation & Sales partners: Partners that sell, distribute, develop and implement solutions on top of the Momentum platform. Think about companies like Deloitte, Accenture and Wunderman Commerce, but also platform players like SAP and Salesforce.
- Customer and Platform partners: These are the real users of our platform and include customers. We believe that, especially at this stage of our maturity, the relationships we strike with our customers is one of joint development and innovation, developing out the opportunities to increase customer engagement. Potential customers not only include retail, FMCG, QSR and travel/hospitality players, but also existing loyalty platform providers, who are looking for a new technology platform to use as a basis for a real differentiating offer for their customers.
We already have a strong partner network, that will help increase our reach and are working with several partners in each category to kick-start our growth, starting from early next year.
Philip Shelper is a loyalty management consultant based in Sydney, Australia who obsesses about everything to do with loyalty and rewards. His company Loyalty & Reward Co are a leading loyalty consulting firm.
Phil is the author of Blockchain Loyalty: Disrupting loyalty and reinventing marketing using cryptocurrencies. Buy the book.
www.blockchainloyalty.io is a global resource centre for everything blockchain loyalty.