UK-based Supermoney are recent entrants to the blockchain loyalty industry, but come with a grand vision after recently completing a 10-week accelerator program with BMW Financial Services where they developed a unique digital wallet allowing in-store and online customers to pay with a simple QR scan. The product runs on a system of smart contracts that effectively and efficiently manage counterparty risk, protecting both buyer and seller.
Supermoney are utilising blockchain to strategically focusing on enterprise software solutions, loyalty program transformation and digital payments (using stable coins to facilitate faster, more secure transactions). From a loyalty perspective, their blockchain layer can link existing and new loyalty programs to support currency interchangeability, increasing the liquidity available to members.
A major global juice chain are one of the first clients to sign. Their existing loyalty program will be linked to allow their members to transfer their points outside the program for redemption at other participating merchants, or transfer points in from other merchants to redeem on a free juice. The central tool for members is the Toucan App, which tokenises different loyalty currencies and supports the collection, trading and redemption of tokens across the retailer network.
Supermoney recognises the need to scale and scale quickly in this industry, and have already engaged an impressive range of large, global brands in discussions, including one of the biggest consumer brands in the world who are seeking to link fifty individual loyalty programs.
I interviewed Supermoney CEO Joel Smalley about the company’s vision and strategy.
Supermoney see significant opportunities to fix real-world loyalty challenges using blockchain. Tell us where those opportunities lie and the benefits business and consumers can look forward to.
Our principle objective is to increase the value of the loyalty programs of our customers that we support. We see that this can be achieved by increasing visibility and liquidity. By tokenising points or miles on the same platform where we tokenise money as a regulated financial institution, we can subsequently display those loyalty tokens alongside their digital money in the wallet, making them visible at every POS transaction. More visibility inevitably means more utility and liquidity increases as a result. In addition, customers of partners who elect to allow their loyalty tokens to be transferable can exchange those tokens for more desirable ones more easily under this approach. Ultimately, a DEX (decentralised exchange) can be integrated making it easier still for tokens to be traded, subject to necessary regulatory compliance, and even for the participation of market makers (liquidity providers). We expect at least 25% uplift in value as a result of increased liquidity and further benefit from superior insight into consumer behaviour and digital engagement.
What critical role does blockchain play in the Supermoney platform?
We stopped using the word blockchain in favour of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and focused on tokenisation as the enabler for this shift in economic model. We see that the most successful programs that already exist are the coalition ones. Decentralisation, distribution and tokenisation that are derived from the use of DLT facilitate the evolution of superior coalition programs and liquidity exchange. DLT plays the critical role.
Are there any plans for a Supermoney token? Wil this lead to an ICO?
No. Our background is in conventional financial markets and services. We espouse the new technologies and its beneficial attributes like asymmetric cryptography, greater robustness, resilience and availability and apply them to fiat currency that people are already familiar with. We actually see proprietary coins as a significant barrier to adoption and unnecessary addition of friction in the transaction, not to mention an accounting headache.
Which blockchain platform is Supermoney going to run on?
Much like everyone else who is sensible, we have built our proofs of concept on Ethereum, albeit a permissioned fork to overcome issues of privacy and scaling, due to the fact that it is the most mature and widely adopted protocol with scripting capability. However, we are investigating a number of other protocols. We were early fans of Stellar and current fans of Radix. We are also looking at the possibility of developing on a meta-protocol to make it easier to switch base protocols should we want to or even to rely on multiple protocols.
Supermoney are in discussions with nine key brands interested in connecting their loyalty program to their DLT platform, plus fourteen brands who are exploring their enterprise system solutions. Where most blockchain loyalty companies have first built a solution, then gone out in search of the problem, Supermoney are starting by identifying the core needs and challenges of major brands, and are now in the process of implementing a solution to fit.
To that end, they represent the second wave of blockchain loyalty companies. In a post-cryptocurrency bubble world, they’ve applied the lessons learnt from the (mostly failed) first wave of ICO-powered start-ups and are focused on the true advantages DLT can deliver; interchangeability of loyalty currencies to unlock value, real-time inter-company transactions which auto-reconcile and the building of a global loyalty coalition network of earn and redemption partners to provide the scale required for Supermoney to succeed. They are a blockchain company worth paying very close attention to.
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.