Microsoft is aiming to trump Nectar owner Aimia with an upgrade of its Wallet app for Windows 10 Mobile which allows users to load all of their loyalty cards into the app to scan and collect points.
A similar scheme is being trialled by Aimia. The Cardtrix app is being tested in Ireland, due to the level of penetration of loyalty programmes the country, widespread smartphone use in the Irish market and a culture which is seen as receptive to technological change.
Aimia’s trial supports the loyalty programmes of 13 major retailers and companies operating in Ireland, including Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Boots, SuperValu, Brown Thomas, Eason’s, Arnotts, Debenhams, Nandos, Costa Coffee, Topaz, Applegreen and the Intercontinental Hotel Group.
However, with the Microsoft Wallet users can scan in any number of cards; previously the Wallet App relied exclusively on loyalty cards that could be found in the Windows Store, which was only a limited selection.
“The new version allows users to scan and add in retail loyalty cards for the first time,” Windows Central said. “Support for loyalty cards means that shoppers can ditch the old-fashioned credit card-like method of collecting reward points in favour of scanning the card’s information on their smartphone.”
The loyalty scheme sector has seen a major boost in recent months, with Lidl, Virgin Group and Marks & Spencer joining the likes of John Lewis and Waitrose in launching programmes. Tesco’s mobile wallet, which is also due to include its Clubcard, was pencilled in for launch this year, although is yet to appear.
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