You Can Now Earn Bitcoin Rewards For Postmates Purchases (#GotBitcoin?)
Food delivery is about to get a little sweeter for the users of the bitcoin rewards platform Lolli. You Can Now Earn Bitcoin Rewards For Postmates Purchases (#GotBitcoin?)
The startup announced Wednesday that is has partnered with delivery service Postmates, making the popular app the latest partner for Lolli’s rewards program. One of the most popular food services, Postmates mobile app saw 2,094,920 downloads in the last 30 days alone per Crunchbase.
Launched in September 2019 on a seeding round $2.35 million. Lolli has added a range of new partners this summer including national grocery chain Safeway in July and Hotels.com in June. Lolli claims over 750 online retail partners including Walmart and Sephora, among others.
Lolli has said that about 40 percent of its users are new to the cryptocurrency scene.
Speaking with CoinDesk, Lolli co-founder and CEO Alex Adelman says Lolli remains committed to making bitcoin more mainstream.
“This is another step towards the mainstream adoption of bitcoin as Postmates is used daily by people across the US,” Adelman said. “One of Lolli’s objectives to make bitcoin a part of people’s everyday lives. Our partnership with Postmates achieves this.”
“Everybody eats and now you don’t have to feel guilty about ordering in when you’re stacking sats on each order,” Adelman added.
Bitcoin Rewards App Lolli Partners With Major US Pet Store Chain Petco (#GotBitcoin?)
Lolli, an app that provides Bitcoin (BTC) rewards to users when they shop with partner stores, has teamed up with major American pet retailer Petco.
The Rewards Deal With Petco
Lolli announced the new partnership in an official blog post on Aug. 23. In the announcement, the company notes that there are two new veins of rewards that come with the partnership. One is that Lolli users can earn up to 3.5% satoshis (sats) of their purchases on Petco’s website, Petco.com.
Another is that Lolli users can earn a flat 5,000 sats payment for sharing a photo of their dog and commenting on the partnership. A satoshi is 0.00000001 BTC. Therefore, these users would earn 0.00005 BTC for promoting the partnership with their dog photos. At press time, this amount of Bitcoin is equivalent to a little over $0.51.
Petco is the second-largest pet chain retailer in the United States, controlling nearly 20% of the market according to data from Statista.
Lolli’s Expansion With Other Stores
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Lolli partnered with the American grocery chain Safeway near the end of July. As is the case with the Petco partnership, Lolli announced that they would offer 3.5% back in BTC for their total purchases.
Lolli also partnered with the booking service Hotels.com back in June. This website apparently lists over 325,000 properties in approximately 19,000 locations globally.
Crypto.com: Buy, Sell and Pay With Crypto
Coincheck Survey Service Allows Users to Trade Reward Points For Crypto
Cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, a subsidiary of Japanese financial services firm Monex Group, partnered with marketing research company Macromill Group to launch the Coincheck Survey service that allows its users to exchange reward points for digital assets.
Survey Participants Can Earn Bitcoin
According to Monex Group’s official press release published on Sept. 4, customers will be able to “exchange Macromill Points, which are offered as compensation for participating in surveys,” for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple’s XRP starting Sept. 10. The announcement states:
“In partnership with Macromill, a leading marketing research company that offers marketing solutions best suited for clients, Coincheck is expanding opportunities for an increase in the number of people who start investing in cryptocurrencies. […] Macromill typically offers Macromill Points to Macromill Monitors who participate in the surveys conducted by the company.
The launch of Coincheck Survey makes it possible for monitors to exchange those Macromill Points to cryptocurrencies.”
Crypto Loyalty Programs Are On The Rise In Japan
Per the release, a Coincheck account is required for “Macromill Monitors” to participate in the program.
According to Cointelegraph Japan, the program’s exchange rate will be 1 yen per point. It is also noted that “in addition to cashing for 1 yen per point, it can be exchanged for products, T-points, and Amazon gift certificates.”
As we reported on Aug. 20, Japanese cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer and technology services company Tpoint Japan also announced a partnership that allows local customers to exchange loyalty program points for BTC and earn rewards for paying in crypto.
Alibaba Partners with Lolli to Allow US Shoppers Earn ‘Free Bitcoin’
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has partnered with Bitcoin (BTC) rewards shopping app Lolli, enabling its shoppers to earn 5% back in Bitcoin. Alibaba customers can now get Satoshis (sats), the smallest unit of Bitcoin currency, worth 0.00000001 BTC, when shopping “thousands of items online,” Lolli says.
World’s Biggest Retailer And Biggest One-Day Shopping Event
The partnership was announced on Singles Day, a shopping holiday that is celebrated in China on Nov. 11 and is considered to be the world’s biggest one-day shopping event. According to Lolli, Alibaba shoppers spent more than $31 billion on Singles Day in 2018.
Alex Adelman, CEO and co-founder at Lolli, pointed out that the new move is a milestone partnership for Lolli as Alibaba is the largest retailer and e-commerce company in the world.
“Our partnership allows our users to earn free bitcoin on millions of products online every day. Arguably the most important piece of this partnership is that it supports our mission of connecting the entire world through commerce.”
Feature Is Only Available In The United States
According to a Coindesk report, the new program will only be available for purchases in the United States. Aubrey Strobel, Lolli’s head of communications, reportedly claimed that residents in China will not be able to participate, and products would be shipped from China to U.S. users.
In the report, Adelman highlighted the firm’s plans to expand globally in 2020 and emphasized that the partnership is a great first step to connect China and the U.S. through Bitcoin and commerce.
Earlier today, Cointelegraph reported on Fold, one of the oldest Bitcoin shopping rewards apps, launching support for home-sharing giant Airbnb today. With the new feature, Fold users can get 3% back in Bitcoin on every stay and experience booked on the platform. The app works in selected countries including the U.S., Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico and the United Kingdom, depending on the specific brand.
Regarding Alibaba, the Chinese retail giant has not been friendly to Bitcoin to date. On Oct. 10, Alibaba’s digital payment arm Alipay reiterated its negative stance to Bitcoin, confirming that it will be banning all transactions identified as connected to Bitcoin.
Alibaba Denies ‘Partnership’ With Lolli, Highlighting Crypto Industry Pitfalls
On Monday, CoinDesk reported the shopping app Lolli was offering bitcoin rewards to U.S.-based Alibaba shoppers for Singles Day.
Alibaba Group representatives have since denied the “partnership” touted by Lolli CEO Alex Adelman. The fissure revealed a common misconception in the blockchain industry.
“One of Alibaba.com’s contractors hired a subcontractor who brokered an affiliate marketing program with Lolli. This was done without the knowledge of Alibaba.com,” an Alibaba spokesperson told CoinDesk. “Alibaba.com’s contractor is terminating the relationship with the subcontractor who was working with Lolli. As a result, Lolli should no longer promote or bring traffic to Alibaba.com.”
He added that Lolli “never had the right to claim a partnership with Alibaba.com or imply one with Alibaba Group.”
In response, Adelman said, “There has to be an integration for us to send sales to someone’s site.”
However inflated the promotion of this Singles Day campaign may have been, Adelman’s team wasn’t completely off-base. Contractual agreements seen by CoinDesk appeared to permit the usage of “Alibaba related keywords” in online materials. The startup had already been processing bitcoin rewards for AliExpress shoppers since May 2019.
According to Lolli’s head of communications, Aubrey Strobel, Alibaba.com itself trialed Lolli’s services for 24 hours during the Singles Day campaign, then deactivated “the partnership” after publicity drew attention to the trial.
Subsequent coverage of the announcement misrepresented the deal as Alibaba accepting bitcoin directly. As CoinDesk reported on Friday, Chinese regulators appear to be gearing up for a renewed crackdown on cryptocurrency exchange-related services.
“It seems as though there was a miscommunication on Alibaba’s end and while that’s unfortunate, we look forward to the possibility of working with Alibaba.com again in the future,” Strobel said in a statement. “In the interim, Alibaba Group’s AliExpress is still live on Lolli.”
As it stands, the root cause of the mixed messaging is unclear.
Blockchain companies often claim to have “partnerships” with brands when they really have an indirect affiliate contract or are merely working on a proof-of-concept. On the other hand, some paperwork with representatives from both parties had already been finalized and payments to shoppers were processed before the now-controversial announcement.
This also underscores the challenge of defining what a “partnership” really means at the intersection of e-commerce and crypto.
What the Lolli team saw as expanding on an existing client relationship during a mainstream holiday campaign by the flagship brand, Alibaba Group viewed as a private and “transactional” deal mediated by third parties, according to the Alibaba spokesperson. From Alibaba’s perspective, this was not an official partnership.
The spokesperson claimed there was no direct contact between Lolli and the Alibaba Group, despite the AliExpress rewards processed. The spokesperson added that Alibaba Group does not work with any bitcoin-related companies.
Can Crypto Platforms Help Loyalty Schemes In Shops Make A Comeback?
Retailers have been offering loyalty schemes for decades — but ensuring they are attractive enough to generate repeat customers is easier said than done.
Bond’s Loyalty Report, which surveyed 55,000 consumers in 2019, exposed these challenges in a stark way. Although 73% of those polled said they were more likely to recommend a brand with a good loyalty program, personalization is proving crucial for keeping these shoppers engaged — and just 22% are very satisfied that the rewards they are offered are matched to their individual interests.
Overall, retail initiatives are failing to keep up with customer demand. Just 44% are very satisfied with the programs they use. There are recurring issues that even the biggest companies are failing to address. Sometimes, their schemes are simply too complicated for users to get their heads around, leaving them unsure about what the points they have accrued are actually worth. In other cases, shoppers abandon programs because the returns are disappointing. With hundreds and even thousands of brands offering their own cards and accounts, the process of registering for each one individually and remembering to use them all can be overwhelming. And, on top of all this, too many retailers are failing to reach their target market on smartphones — either through instant messaging, social media or custom-built apps.
This led professional services firm KPMG to release a report calling for loyalty schemes to be given a wide-reaching rethink. Almost two-fifths of consumers polled encountered a problem with a loyalty program they used over a six-month period. But here’s the thing: Businesses can hit a lucrative sweet spot if they get their proposition right. KPMG’s research also revealed that 2 in 3 shoppers end up making special trips to earn a reward on a compelling loyalty program — and better still, 3 in 5 shoppers would actually be prepared to pay a little more for goods and services if they had the chance to accrue points, discounts or free products.
Transforming The Loyalty Market
What’s the solution for giving consumers what they want and ensuring that loyalty programs are viable for businesses? Well, with crypto and blockchain already upending countless other industries, it seems inevitable that this one would be ripe for disruption too.
Digital tokens are beginning to gain momentum, attracting younger audiences who may not be interested or engaged with credit-card loyalty programs or frequent-flyer initiatives. Plus, given how many schemes in the fiat world offer rewards that end up expiring all of a sudden, cryptocurrencies have the benefit of being more permanent. Major players such as Rakuten are exploring this potential, developing a coin that loyal users could convert into cold, hard cash if they wanted to. Other brands are building platforms where customers are rewarded for frequent purchases with points that can be exchanged for Bitcoin.
Businesses are starting to get fed up with investing so much in offering loyalty schemes that end up inactive. Retailers and merchants are paying tens of billions of dollars a year to companies that provide the infrastructure for such initiatives — and research suggests that blockchain could slash these costs dramatically.
For many crypto-based loyalty scheme providers, it’s also about placing the power back in the hands of consumers. Attitudes are beginning to change. Back in the day, it used to be the case that points accrued from a coffee shop would have to be spent at that same chain. But now, multiple brands are coming together under one roof — enabling them to attract a wider audience and welcome shoppers through their doors who may not have made a purchase before.
“A Token Of Discovery”
One company that’s making a foray into the crypto-focused loyalty market is MozoX, which bills itself as a “token of discovery.”
Although its concept is firmly rooted in the future, the company has taken a novel approach by blending the realms of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail. It is aiming to motivate shoppers to return to offline stores — driving footfall in malls. The platform’s vision is to entice the public by enabling them to receive MozoX tokens through airdrops established by participating retail outlets, malls and venues simply by visiting their offline locations or by making a purchase. Over time, these tokens can be accrued and redeemed against products and services at any of these venues — “giving shoppers choice, flexibility and convenience,” according to the company.
MozoX says that its cryptocurrency will be easy to transfer and trade on major exchanges, storable in major wallets and purchasable using fiat currencies, including U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore dollars. The company estimates that the worldwide loyalty market is worth a cool $300 billion, with 91 million stores using loyalty schemes to some extent. Executives say they have already signed memorandums of understanding to roll out its technology in 90,000 stores over the next three years — potentially reaching 13 million shoppers — and that its app value proposition to merchants compared favorably to the likes of Facebook and Uber Eats because MozoX guarantees foot traffic.
Round one of an initial exchange offering is set to take place on the LAToken platform from Nov. 25 to Dec. 25, and MozoX tokens can be purchased using Bitcoin, Ether or Tether.
Binance to Launch Crypto Travel Rewards Card with Startup TravelByBit
Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced in a blog post on Nov. 28 that it partnered with crypto travel startup TravelByBit to launch a rewards card that facilitates crypto payments on major travel websites.
Per the announcement, the card will function like a traditional prepaid card with access to additional discounts and rewards that users will be able to load with Bitcoin (BTC), Binance USD (BUSD), Binance Coin (BNB) and Ontology (ONT).
The card will be released early next year and will initially target travelers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia and Europe, with plans to gradually expand.
Traveling With Crypto
The service will reportedly allow its customers to book flights and hotels through major booking sites including Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, and Ctrip, as well as TravelByBit’s own platform.
TravelByBit is not the first service enabling its users to travel with cryptocurrencies. As Cointelegraph recently reported, crypto booking firm Travala announced that it will now let its customers reserve any hotel that is bookable through Booking.com with cryptocurrency.
Earlier this summer, the co-founders of Scandinavian air carrier Norwegian Air announced plans to launch their own cryptocurrency exchange, which will subsequently facilitate the airline’s acceptance of cryptocurrency payments.
Rakuten Customers Can Use Their Loyalty Program Points to Buy Crypto
Japanese retail giant Rakuten now lets its customers convert its Rakuten Group loyalty points to major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).
According to an official announcement on Dec. 24, this capability is immediately available for Rakuten users in Japan who have an account with Rakuten Wallet, a crypto exchange subsidiary of Rakuten.
The company says its clients can convert their loyalty points to three different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).The minimum crypto purchase is $0.90
With one Rakuten Super Point worth one Japanese yen (approximately $0.009), users need to have at least 100 such points to meet the minimum for an exchange. Crypto assets cannot be converted back into Rakuten Super Points, and the amount of daily and monthly transactions are capped at 30,000 points and 100,000 points as default, respectively.
Cointelegraph contacted Rakuten to find out more details about the scales of its loyalty program but had yet to receive a response as of press time. This article will be updated pending any new comments.
Rakuten Intends To Boost Crypto Adoption
By launching this new service, Rakuten Wallet apparently aims to boost cryptocurrency adoption while promoting its loyalty program. The company said in the announcement:
“Rakuten Wallet hopes to reduce the barriers of entry to crypto asset trading by providing an easy and more accessible way for new users to start, including novice users who are interested in crypto asset trading with no prior experience.”
Launching its virtual currency exchange back in March 2017, Rakuten is known for acquiring major Japanese crypto exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin in 2018. Often referred to as “Japan’s Amazon,” Rakuten is estimated to be worth $14.5 billion as of late December 2019.
Rakuten is not the only company that lets users in Japan exchange loyalty program points for crypto. In August 2019, crypto exchange bitFlyer partnered with technology services company Tpoint Japan to enable its Japanese customers to convert loyalty program points to Bitcoin, as well as earn rewards for paying in crypto.
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