By Aimee Chanthadavong

With the new Apple iOs now released in Australia, rewards and loyalty platform provider Pointpal aims to be one of the first local apps to be featured on Apple’s Passbook.

Pointpal currently provides a loyalty app for iPhone and Android that allows consumers to find retail, food, entertainment and others offers while choosing which offers to add to their Pointpal wallet within the app. Retailers and brands, such as Oporto, Subway, Thomas Dux, Bakers Delight and Stella Artois, use the Pointpal platform currently to reward loyal customers with stamps, points, coupons, surveys and digital redemption.

Andrew Lowe, Pointpal co-founder and managing director, told RetailBiz when Pointpal is integrated within Apple Passbook it will give consumers another interaction point on their iPhone.

“The core functionality offered in iO6 and Passbook will allow Pointpal to present offers to customers as they shop,” he said.

“Pointpal will sit between the retail clients and Passbook to offer customers the control over what they receive and when they want it. Retail clients who see the relationship with their customers as a two-way street stand to benefit the most.”

While Lowe insists Passbook may be the ‘holy grail’ for many bricks and mortar stores, he said it will only happen if retailers respect their customers’ choice of when they want to engage with brands and receive offers and rewards while they are shopping.

Lowe has also predicted the idea of mobile phones as digital wallets will be considered the norm in markets like Australia within 12 months.

“Who will dominate is still in question, but in our opinion, the payment service that best addresses the micro-payment requirement of small bricks and mortar businesses will be the winner,” he said.
“Pointpal is taking the approach of creating the loyalty wallet first, as a way for customers to get familiar with trusting their phones for transacting. If they feel comfortable having their phone replace the stamp cards and plastic membership cards in their traditional wallet, then the natural progression is to start making small contactless purchases using the same device. Strategies by the majors to start small to get it right seem to be the most pragmatic.
“Pointpal is all about giving the customer control and it’s no different when it comes to payment solutions. Whether it’s PayPal, PayPass, Square or Google wallet – Pointpal will enable the customer to choose the service that best suits their needs.”

Once Apple Passbook integration is complete, the existing platform mechanics will continue as normal but Pointpal consumers will have the choice to store their existing and new loyalty cards within the Passbook app.