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Mobile payments and digital currencies are replacing traditional payment systems. In the future, payments will be made from smartphone to smartphone and consumers and merchants will be transacting in digital currencies and consumers will receive digital rewards.
How people pay for things is changing. Around the world, across demographics and all walks of life, the smartphone is now a commonplace accessory. Consumers are increasingly inclined to trust their smartphone for managing many or most aspects of their lives, including their wallet. Convenience, security, and advantages like rewards are helping motivate consumers to go mobile with their money.
And the change is happening quickly. Research points to the global mobile payments market growing to reach more than $4.5 trillion by 2023, carried by a compound annual growth rate of nearly 34 per cent over six years¹. What that means for businesses, whether they operate a cash register or an integrated POS, is a sea-change in how they attract and transact with customers — now and well into the future — and strong currents driving it.
1. Allied Market Research. “Global Mobile Payment Market Expected to Reach $ 4,574 Billion by 2023 – Allied Market Research.” Feb. 22, 2018. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-mobile-payment-market-expected-to-reach–4574-billion-by-2023—allied-market-research-674829713.html
When digital security fails, the costs for a business, big or small, can be substantial. Recently, businesses have seen many high profile data breaches:
2. Armerding, Taylor. “The 17 biggest data breaches of the 21st century.” CSO. Jan. 26, 2018. https://www.csoonline.com/article/2130877/data-breach/the-biggest-data-breaches-of-the-21st-century.html
3. Armerding, Taylor. “The 17 biggest data breaches of the 21st century.”
At Glance, we believe that a fundamental tenet of payments is loyalty rewards.
Loyalty programs in North America are attracting more and more people to their ranks, a rising trend observed across all sectors including retail, financial, travel and hospitality. According to the most recent Colloquy Loyalty Census, memberships in the United States grew 15% over the two year period ending in 2016 hitting 3.8 billion compared to 26% growth rate reported for the prior two year period. As stated in this report, Canada saw a growth of 35% – 175 million verified memberships – in 2016. The retail sector accounts for 42% of all memberships, followed by travel and hospitality at 29% and financial services at 17%.
However, while the market is growing, problems still exist. In the U.S., 54% of memberships were reported inactive in 2016. This indicates that loyalty programs are failing to keep consumers engaged. Furthermore, the slowdown in the rate of growth of memberships (from 26% in 2014 to 15% in 2016) signals a maturing loyalty market in which merchants need to improve their strategies in order to build lasting relationships and retain a loyal consumer base. Customers are more demanding than ever and expect personalized experiences that are tailored for their needs.
Overall, the market data points to a window of opportunity for disruptors who bring technology, simplified user experience, and streamlined payment and consumer workflow to the loyalty market in order to add value for both the customers and the merchants.
We believe blockchain and cryptocurrencies are fundamentally transformative technologies. According to Coinschedule.com, over USD $21.3 billion has been invested in cryptocurrency ICOs in 2018⁴. That large influx of investment should accelerate the advance of fundamental blockchain platform technology as well as applications and more widespread adoption of the technology in the next few years.
We have announced that we are working on a rewards-based cryptocurrency using blockchain technology. This development will utilize a rewards token that allows Glance merchants to reward and provide deals and incentives to customers. Our plan is to provide a loyalty mechanism that allows Glance users to spend accumulated rewards within a larger marketplace. We also anticipate that by rewarding Glance Users with our token, we will enable everyday individuals to get involved in the cryptocurrency and hopefully encourage widespread adoption. We are working diligently on our crypto technology and assembling what we believe to be a strong team on this front. This blockchain-based rewards platform will allow flexible reward and loyalty structures to meet merchant needs based on smart contracts. In January 2018, our team travelled to Davos, Switzerland, to speak at a blockchain conference about our rewards-based token.
We believe that the key to our success is our relationship with our merchants and users and we are constantly working to improve those relationships. Based on feedback from our merchants and users, we are continuously innovating and updating our products to improve our customer experience. We encourage all of our Glance employees to regularly visit our merchants and communicate to the rest of our organization how our business is working.