The End of Loyalty Cards?

March 30, 2008 · 0 comments

It’s been a rough two weeks for Solidus Network. In bankruptcy, the owner of Greenpoints has struggled to unload its “non-core” businesses, and as a result it had to shut down its Pay By Touch payment system. Pay By Touch allowed members of some supermarkets and gas stations to use their fingerprint as their “loyalty card.” The loyalty system was in place in an unknown number of Super Value stores including Piggly Wiggly, Jewel-Osco, and Cub Foods. The scanning equipment is still in stores but is in the process of being removed.
Adding insult to injury is the announcement by a Portland, OR company called Chockstone that they had developed “Single Swipe,” a card scanning system that would also eliminate the need for carrying separate loyalty cards. It somehow (not a techie here, so this is no doubt over-simplified) attaches your loyalty info to an existing credit or debit card.
BrandWeek says that Chockstone’s loyalty network currently includes Subway, Chili’s, and Ticketmaster…but I’m sure they’d be willing to step in and take up the slack created by Pay By Touch’s bankruptcy. :)
The question is, without a card to remind people that they belong to a loyalty program, will they remember to swipe their card? Also, my question as a consumer would be, what if I use more than one credit card and I forget which one I signed up with? You’d pretty much have to use your debit card to be sure, right?
Anyway, it means less clutter in my wallet, and that’s a good thing.

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