St. Paul, MN-based Augeo, one of the world’s largest loyalty and incentive companies, has created a new platform called Heaps to enable companies to offer cryptocurrency in loyalty and incentive programs.
Consistent with its commitment to innovation, stewardship and thought leadership in the loyalty and incentive space, David Kristal, Augeo CEO, believes it’s time to make cryptocurrency available for redemption in loyalty and incentive programs. Recipients in participating programs will be able to use points to redeem for such leading cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin and Ethereum and convert them to cash when desired, without having to worry about security protocols that can cause ordinary holders to accidentally get locked out of their accounts.
“Surging consumer and investor interest in cryptocurrency has created tremendous opportunities for brands to elevate engagement with their customers, members and employees,” says Kristal. “By leveraging the billions of dollars of unredeemed loyalty rewards, we are making cryptocurrency more accessible to new audiences.”
In collaboration with Prime Trust, a leading digital asset infrastructure provider, the new Heaps service “seamlessly integrates into any loyalty program—making it easy for everyone to securely buy, access, earn and track their crypto investments,” according to the company.
Kristal is not yet ready to announce the company’s first customer for Heaps but says Augeo is in talks with multiple companies. “This is not a platform of advocacy for a particular cryptocurrency. We run a redemption hub worldwide that offers gift cards, merchandise, travel, games, experiences, philanthropy, and now cryptocurrency. This is meant to be educational. We intend not to advocate but to educate, so that it will be easily understood relative to risk and reward.”
Offering cryptocurrency is not the same as adding yet another product or service to the redemption mix. “Yes, this is a decision that runs up the chain of command because it involves compliance, security, finance, marketing, operations, and therefore key decision makers.”
“Rewards create a compelling entry point for consumers getting into cryptocurrency,” says Peter Schultze, Augeo Vice President, Crypto Loyalty. “Heaps makes it easy for users to buy crypto with points or cash, store digital assets in a secure wallet, track portfolio performance, learn about crypto investing, and even earn crypto-back on their purchases at thousands of popular brands through the Heaps marketplace.”
The way that Heaps is structured, private keys to participant holdings are held in a trust managed by a custodial wallet solution that securely supports the entire process. The integrated platform enables users to redeem their loyalty points and cash back rewards for leading cryptocurrencies. Heaps also enables users to purchase crypto with cash and through recurring deposits. Augeo provides educational tools and instructional tutorials to assist users in understanding cryptocurrency investing. According to the company, once in the platform, users have access to a discount marketplace where they can earn crypto-back rewards on their spending across 30,000-plus local, national, and online merchants.
Also on the roadmap are plans to offer NFTs—short for non-fungible tokens, which are cryptographic assets with unique identification codes that distinguish them from each other.
Kristal explains that the decision to offer cutting-edge solutions aligns with Augeo’s philosophy about engagement. “Our programs are built on three pillars. The first pillar is understanding the individual as a customer or employee to address their transactional and emotional needs. What are the economic benefits and experiential and emotional connections? That’s where our competitors begin and end.”
The second pillar, he says, is “group validation. How do we facilitate making connections across the customer or employee community so that people can identify others with common interests and find out what they are doing? Think of it as an internal social media platform. The third pillar addresses an organization’s core values. Is the organization in the sustainability space or have other values it wishes to reinforce? We look to see how we can address those values in the communications and in the program.”
For More Information
Go to: heaps.augeomarketing.com.
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