Bitcoin integrated into reward schemes

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Tango Card, the online rewards system, has partnered up with Snapcard, the bitcoin wallet and payment processor, to allow users to receive the crypto-currency as a reward option.

Through the partnership, Tango Card can now offer the cryptocurrency as reward to their rewards partners.

The rewards-as-a-service start up is able to offer rewards by integrating Snapcard’s Masspay API. The platform allows users of Tango Card to choose bitcoin as the preferred reward on its e-reward platform, thus sending funds to their Snapcard wallet.

The MassPay API will allow merchants to send mass payments to phone numbers and emails, as well as store US dollars, Australian dollars, Canadian dollars and euros

“Tango Card was able to use our new MassPay API to allow their users to receive Bitcoin Rewards at an e-mail address, phone number, or a bitcoin address, all without taking on any of the currency risk,” said Snapcard CEO Michael Dunworth.

Reward schemes have become a niche focus for many fintech companies as they begin to see their potential on a digital platform. Traditionally, reward and loyalty schemes have been small – sometimes to the point of being insignificant – tokens of appreciation that would act as an incentive for customers to keep coming back.

However, they appear to be transforming into something slightly different. Whereas before they were trifling bonuses on top of people’s day-to-day interactions, now they appear to be a mechanism that is meant to be the main attraction.

With the technological revolution opening the doors to a plethora of companies, platforms and apps, many companies are now scrambling to have a feature that can set them apart from the rest. If everyone can offer to process one’s payment for free, the consumer will look beyond that service to decide whether he should go with it.

It becomes a race for companies to attract the biggest partners and offer the most exciting rewards.

Microsoft is already trialling its own rewards service, Earn, which is in the beta stage in the US. Other big players such as Android Pay have also tentatively entered the rewards arena with agreements with Fishbowl and Jumba Juice.

On our side of the Atlantic Harvey Nichols has recently launched its own rewards app and there are small start-ups such as Droplet that are coming into the market via a grassroots approach.

Snapcard and Tango Card’s agreement marks bitcoin’s first step into the nascent corner of the payments industry. However, it feels like a natural one for the cryptocurrency, which is currently striving to gain mainstream legitimacy by capitalising on the amount of positive coverage it has achieved in 2015.

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