Chockstone brings loyalty to credit cards

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Loyalty marketing provider Chockstone has launched SingleSwipe, a new credit card program for merchants.

SingleSwipe allows consumers to register their credit and debit cards with a merchant-specific card-based loyalty program. The registered cards can be used to both pay for a product and to receive any loyalty card benefits. The card-based system helps merchants keep track of customer transactions and preferences for better loyalty marketing.

“Most programs to date have been around the location issuing a new card, and everyone is at a saturation point on how many cards they're going to carry around in their wallet,” said Jeff Lipp, CEO of Chockstone. “But we also process credit and debit cards, so this program allows consumers to register their credit or debit cards as specific loyalty consumer cards for one merchant.”

Consumers register for SingleSwipe by signing up on a specific merchant's Web site.

Chockstone currently processes about 25 million consumer accounts across all of its loyalty and rewards programs. Out of those, 10 to 15% are expected to convert over to SingleSwipe in the first few quarters of 2008.

Lipp said the primary benefits of SingleSwipe were speeding the payment process, eliminating hassle for consumers and lowering the overall cost of loyalty programs. Printing new cards for loyalty programs, Lipp explained, generally costs 10 to 15 cents per card. He also said the program, by reducing card production, had an eco-friendly angle.

“There are a billion and a half consumer loyalty memberships in this country, and 35%-40% of them are actually used,” Lipp pointed out. “So many fall by the wayside, but most people do carry around a primary credit or debit card, so now we can get the top-of-wallet effect. If you are one of our customer companies, you don't have to force another piece of plastic in somebody's wallet.”

The company is also exploring some partnerships with credit card companies. These pairings would allow consumers to tie major credit cards to a number of different vendors.

Chockstone provides real-time analysis of loyalty promotions for its client companies, allowing merchants to provide targeted rewards offers at the point-of-sale. Clients are focused in quick service restaurants, casual dining, and fast casual and include Subway, Tully's Coffee and Plaid Pantry.

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