ISSUE NO. 61 – DECEMBER 2018
Amazon Eyes Airports, Hospitals, Offices for Amazon Go Expansion
Amazon.com opened a smaller, food-only Amazon Go food store in one of their Seattle office buildings. The 450 square foot space is stocked with salads and snacks for its office workers and their guests. At a quarter the size of their average Amazon Go store, Amazon is seeking new pathways for expansion in the physical world and this new format is aimed at exploring adding Amazon Go shops in airports, hospitals and office lobbies. As in other Amazon Go stores, customers need a smartphone to enter, their purchases are monitored by cameras and the credit card linked in the smartphone app is charged upon exit. Reuters reported exploratory discussions between Amazon and Los Angeles International Airport and San Jose International Airport.
Amazon’s foray into brick-and-mortar shopping is extending beyond Main Street and malls into office buildings, airports and hospitals. With the recent opening of a pint-sized Amazon Go store, a future with an AI, camera-enabled, cashier-less retail store in every neighborhood is getting closer. Increased use of smartphone apps for cashierless checkout will increase targeted card-linking offers and loyalty programs as consumers prefer personalized coupons and savings and retailers see incremental increases in sales and customer retention.
Brexit Brings GDPR Into Sharp Focus
Despite the delayed vote on Brexit’s details by the British Parliament, the UK’a Information Commissioner’s Office has released guidance on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance if there is no deal when the UK leaves the EU on March 29, 2019. Their advice includes continuing to comply with GDPR, reviewing data transfer processes and documenting the process flows. What GDPR portends is the trend towards enhanced consumer control of personal data.
GDPR went into effect in May 2018 and it gave EU citizens the right to move their data from one company to another. Dubbed “consumer data portability”, this new digital right will likely be enshrined in the US as a new law by the US Congress in 2019. The bottom line is that come 2019, there will be two kinds of companies: companies that consumers trust with their data and companies that have a bad reputation and are not trusted. Companies that are viewed as trusted include Apple, MasterCard, Samsung and Microsoft. These companies will leverage their trusted data positions to grow more rapidly and gain market share. 2019 will be a very tough year for companies without robust consumer data protections in place.
FIS Partners with Excentus to Offer Real-time Rewards Points Redemption at Shell Stations Nationwide
CardLinx members FIS and Excentus team up to provide customers at participating Shell-branded fuel stations across the United States the ability to redeem rewards points in real-time directly at the pump. More than 23 million customers can participate in the growing FIS Premium Payback redemption network, which links thousands of retail point-of-sale locations with customer card rewards programs. The program, which complements existing retailer rewards programs, helps merchants and retailers increase traffic, grow revenue, and enhance customer engagement and loyalty.
The joint initiative between CardLinx members FIS and Excentus highlights the collaboration between leading companies to bring card-linked offers to a larger marketplace. The FIS Premium Payback network is an example of how retailers and retail loyalty providers work with CLO-technology partners to increase sales transactions while growing revenue and strengthening customer loyalty. CardLinx’s mission includes facilitating partnerships between members across industries to bring personalized offers to all.