KDDI invests in loyalty company, makes retail deal - Mobile World Live

KDDI invests in loyalty company, makes retail deal

17 DEC 2019

KDDI struck a deal to acquire a 20 per cent stake in consumer rewards company Loyalty Marketing and joined a mobile payments partnership with the latter’s affiliated retail chain.

Loyalty Marketing runs consumer rewards scheme Ponta, which allows customers of partner retailers to collect points and redeem them for discounts or free items. It is part owned by Japanese convenience store chain Lawson, which uses it to run its customer rewards programme.

In addition to taking the stake, from May 2020 KDDI will offer Ponta points to users and plans to integrate elements of the loyalty system into its mobile payment service au Pay.

The operator ultimately plans to add digital loyalty cards into its mobile wallet and allow au Pay as a transaction method on Ponta’s retail app.

KDDI’s stake in Loyalty Marketing is being acquired from the latter’s largest shareholder Mitsubishi Corporation. Lawson is the rewards company’s third-largest investor.

Financial terms for KDDI’s purchase were not disclosed.

Alongside the investment announcement, Loyalty Marketing’s three largest shareholders agreed to collaborate on creating new consumer-focused initiatives. Details on the plans were sparse, however these so-called “new experiences” relate to use of consumer data and financial services.

As part of the agreement, au Pay will be actively promoted as a payment method for in-store payments in Lawson branches.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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