The Financial services giant has announced the launch of its American Express blockchain rewards program integrating the Linux Foundations Hyperledger blockchain technology and trialling with digital retailer Boxed.
American Express (AmEx) Membership Rewards, one of the world’s most recognised loyalty programs, will enable merchants to create membership reward offers for it’s cardholders via a private channel on it’s blockchain.
Using Hyperledger’s technology, smart contracts will be created by the merchant that will automatically pass the anonymised information of a transaction to AmEx, keeping both merchant and user data private and secure.
The AmEx press release explained, that the new platform will empower the merchant to customise its Membership Rewards structure, allowing them to make “product-targeted offers” while maintaining their own inventory systems.
Head of the Membership Rewards program for AmEx, Chris Cracchiolo said:
“They can create programs based on a time of day, day of the week, by incentivising a customer to download their app. The number of ways merchants can reward customers with Membership Reward points will be exponentially increased.”
Processing the transfer of information on a private channel of it’s blockchain, also empowers American Express to regulate the products or brands being promoted, and if needed exercise discretion.
The American Express blockchain rewards program also promises to significantly streamline the partner setup process, getting merchants onboard “in a matter of weeks”, as opposed to months. It is expected to be available to the majority of existing merchants within the coming months.
Speaking at the Oktane 18 conference in Las Vegas, Tereasa Kastel, American Express Vice President of Technology explained that they have expanded their research to cover more than just financial transactions, she said:
“we were starting to explore what would an identity wallet look like, and could blockchain be used to help serve both internal, but also external card members and merchants.”
American Express, a brand estimated to be worth US $24.5 billion and named Forbes‘ 23rd most valuable brand in the world (highest within financial services), became a member of the Hyperledger Project in January 2017.