Etisalat Smiles

Tokenization of Loyalty Points

Customer Loyalty In The Digital Age

Most consumer facing organizations are today grappling with the challenge of making their Loyalty Programs more appealing for their customers. Customers on the other hand are overwhelmed with the plethora of Loyalty programs offered by their banks, telcos, airlines, hotel chains and countless retail chains. The need for a unified loyalty exchange - that gives consumers the flexibility to exchange loyalty points across merchants has been around for some years.

In a typical customer set, as per statistics, only 24% of the shoppers use the reward they earn across the spectrum of programs subscribed. Common reasons float on the challenging process of voucher redemption, limited product and merchant portfolio to choose from and inefficient customer experience.

Challenges with Loyalty Programs

Common consumer challenges that impede wide-spread adoption and success of Loyalty Programs include:

Clunky Process of voucher redemption

Limited product and merchant portfolio for redemption

Inefficient customer experience

On the other hand Loyalty Program Providers face a host of challenges when expanding their loyalty programs to a wider network of merchants - or when they aim to collaborate with other loyalty point providers to increase customer spread and redemption choices.

Some key operational challenges include:

Cumbersome merchant onboarding

Huge Reconciliation & settlements overheads

Limited merchant and product visibility on catalogs

Fragmented & high Investments in IT Solutions & Infrastructure to support the ecosystem

Etisalat Smiles - Leveraging Fidelity to manage loyalty program

Etisalat with their 10 million plus subscribers and their all-encompassing Loyalty Program “Smiles” has broken through this barrier by launching the region's first blockchain enabled Loyalty Programs exchange platform in collaboration with its technology partners Avanza Innovations.

This is Etisalat’s first step towards truly digitizing and tokenizing Loyalty Points. As part of the same initiative Etisalat also plans to convert Smiles into one of the biggest market places in UAE, enabling Smiles customers to buy in-app products from hundreds of Etisalat partner merchants – instead of just being able to redeem loyalty points at the outlets.

Merchants will be able to push their items and SKUs to the Smiles app, and consumers will be able to purchase these products from their loyalty points seamlessly.

Built on Hyperledger Fabric, and driven through Avanza’s Blockchain Orchestration and Governance platform - Cipher, the platform is deployed on MS Azure.

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