Here’s an interesting development as a demonstration of the way airline frequent flier and loyalty schemes are headed.
Users can spend money in their chosen currency anywhere that accepts Visa or Mastercard in two ways – via a re-loadable plastic payment card or a virtual card.
The company is also looking at the potential for mobile payment.
So far, Etihad Airways¬†has signed up to enable its Guest loyalty program members to use the PointsPay mobile wallet with about 1500 virtual and plastic cards issued and 50 million miles loaded in the first few days according to a statement.
An online survey carried out by Loylogic in March showed 67% would really like to be able to use points at the point-of-sale anywhere and 96% said they would be likely to try to earn more points as a result.
Flexibility and value were ranked of equal importance when it came to what’s most important when using points or miles in the survey of 1,500 loyalty scheme members.
In addition, research from Colloquy released last year showed a third of the $48 billion loyalty points earned annually are never redeemed.
Take up of this sort of initiative will sort the men from the boys in terms of those companies that really want to add value and those just playing lip service, or is that too cynical?
Here’s a clip: