Payments giant Visa is drilling deeper into the Web3 sector with a new initiative that it has announced in the very first week of 2024. The US-headquartered company has announced a new Web3 loyalty service to assist brands experiment with Web3 elements like NFTs, metaverse, and cryptocurrencies. Visa is one of the world’s largest fintech companies to have kept a rather welcoming approach towards the crypto sector, despite regulatory challenges crippling the industry on an international level.
Tailored specifically for brands that are customers of Visa, the name of this new initiative is — the Visa Web3 Loyalty Engagement Solution. Through this, the company will let brands create digital wallets for the storage of reward points on behalf of their customers.
“Through immersive programs like gamified giveaways, augmented reality treasure hunts, and new ways to earn and burn loyalty points, the new value-added service ushers in the future of customer engagement and loyalty, helping brands meet next-generation customers,” Visa wrote an official post.
Before launching this initiative, Visa conducted internal research, where it found that the next generation of customers for brands have heightened expectations about what they receive from loyalty programs — extending beyond traditional points-based benefits. More people are now looking to be rewarded for even engaging and interacting with brands, the study added.
“This is underscored by the fact that more than 77 percent of consumers worldwide value real-world experiences. With the new Visa solution, brands can engage customers by providing a digital wallet where they can apply rewards – such as perks and benefits – towards virtual, digital, or real-world experiences, in various sectors such as travel, sports and more,” Visa’s note added.
The fintech firm has collaborated with SmartMedia Technologies – which is an end-to-end Web2-to-Web3 platform — to bring this Web3 programme to life.
“Imagine earning a unique digital collectible, whether it’s from purchasing tickets for a sports event or participating in an augmented reality treasure hunt. Our new innovative digital loyalty solution empowers brands to reward customers not only for their transactions but for their active engagement,” said Kathleen Pierce-Gilmore, SVP and Global Head of Issuing Solutions, Visa.
Visa has been consistent in-terms of introducing Web3-friendly services in the last few years. In December 2022, Visa designed a functionality to enable users to make their telephone and electricity payments via self-custodial crypto wallets.
The same year, Visa launched a creator programme to help digital-age artists understand and use NFTs. In January 2023, Al Kelly, the CEO of payments at Visa pegged his hopes on stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), both of which are powered by blockchains, to open newer and faster ways to facilitate day-to-day as well as hefty payments.
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