The future of customer loyalty is digital

Visa technology ushers in a new era of brand loyalty rewards for a mobile-first generation.

Consider a new world of loyalty rewards:  


A coffee-branded app launches a virtual treasure hunt via augmented reality. At the end, a coffee lover scores perks like a digital collectible and a free coffee.  


Meanwhile, a traveler scans a QR code at check-in to become a miles member. She’s welcomed to the program with a digital token dropped in her digital wallet. She exchanges the digital token for a day pass to the member lounge.  


An avid music fan buys digital concert tickets to see her favorite pop star live. She answers a survey question and follows the ticket seller on social media to earn digital tokens and a chance to win free backstage passes. She exchanges the digital tokens for free swag at the event — backstage pass in hand. 


U.S. consumers on average belong to 18 brand loyalty programs and only engage with 50 percent of them.1 For brands who want to connect with customers beyond the purchase, competition is stiff. Even so, loyalty programs haven’t evolved much in the last decade. For most traditional loyalty reward programs, consumers spend, brands reward with miles, points or cashback, and that’s about it. Brands looking to differentiate themselves and future-proof their loyalty offerings are beginning to look to digital wallets and collectibles for creating digital experiences that reward customers for their engagement beyond the purchase and help build greater brand awareness and affinity.  


A Visa x Euromonitor Voice of the Consumer Digital Survey 2023 found that more than 77 percent of global consumers value real world experiences, while 60 percent of consumers seek curated experiences that show that a brand understands their preferences.2 The potential of Web3-based loyalty offers brands ways to engage customers across virtual, digital and real-life experiences. 


Visa Web3 Loyalty Engagement Solution 

Visa’s digital-branded mobile wallets and loyalty tokens are paving the way for a new kind of loyalty reward, helping to usher retailers and brands into the future. Customers can earn VIP access to unlock perks and benefits, digital tickets to live or virtual events, digital coupons, collectibles and more — all while keeping their assets and data secure in-wallet.  


The Visa Web3 Loyalty Engagement Solution, powered by SmartMedia Technologies, is a drag-and-drop platform that can enable brands to build and customize digital experiences such as geo-fenced virtual treasure hunts in a self-serve, no-code studio. Brands can design, develop and distribute digital collectibles and campaigns; create custom-branded wallets with 2-click registration; and build virtual worlds without any coding — and gain customer insights along the way. 


Game time 

The Visa x Euromonitor Voice of the Consumer Digital Survey 2023 found that 68 percent of respondents use virtual reality and augmented reality to play games every day.3 From quests to quizzes to prize giveaways, gamification can incentivize customers and make them feel a sense of accomplishment while elevating brand image. Beyond traditional loyalty rewards, brands can now interact with their customers with the help of digital collectibles and the promise of digital mobile apps. Gamification rewards can include digital tokens, promotional perks and other digital collectibles.  


Emotional connection 

Customers want to feel valued. They want brands to welcome them by name, say thank you for being a customer and recommend products based on their needs.4 Using web3 technology to create memorable experiences that cater to the individual customer may strengthen the emotional connection a customer feels toward a brand. Masterclasses, travel packages, health and wellness content, priority access, rewards that support social causes are just a few examples of ways customers can feel like the brand gets them, helping to boost brand loyalty.  


Connected consent 

A consumer's trust in a brand is paramount. Protecting, managing and safeguarding data responsibly throughout the customer journey is therefore critical. With Visa Web3 Loyalty Engagement Solution, brands can create digital wallets that offer consumers a secure way to store digital collectibles, protect user behavior, simplify authentication and enable connected consent — no cookies needed. Digital wallets are capable of enabling users to take their data with them and share it, or even sell it, to retailers and brands they trust. Consumers can earn personalized rewards, a better customer journey, instant gratification and more while brands learn more about their preferences and behavior, such as how they engage across regions, their demographics and preferred touchpoints, among others.    


Brands vying for their customer’s time, attention and wallet are only expanding. To gain sustained loyalty requires a focus on more than just give and take. Virtual experiences, digital collectibles, interoperable rewards and more can help brands stand out in the loyalty space and gain life-long fans. As part of a brand’s marketing strategy across POS, online and mobile apps, digital loyalty holds the promise of to enhancing the customer journey, attracting new digital-native customers, and future-proofing their loyalty programs. 


Learn more about how Visa Web3 Loyalty Engagement Solution5 works.

1 Bond, The Loyalty Report,

2 Euromonitor International and Visa, Loyalty Redefined: Turbocharge Customer Retention with High-Value Programmes,

3 Euromonitor International and Visa, Loyalty Redefined: Turbocharge Customer Retention with High-Value Programmes,

4 Euromonitor International and Visa, Loyalty Redefined: Turbocharge Customer Retention with High-Value Programmes,

5 Product availability varies by region.

Tag: Payment technology

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