Bink Adds Iceland to its Growing List of Retail Partners 

Bink Adds Iceland to its Growing List of Retail Partners 

Loyalty app Bink is delighted to announce a three year, nationwide partnership with market leading supermarket chain, Iceland.

The partnership, which will be live at the end of this year, will see Iceland join a host of other retailers including Morrisons, River Island, Virgin Atlantic, Topman, Topshop, Pizza Express and more, who have all adopted Bink’s world first ‘Payment Linked Loyalty’ technology platform.

Payment Linked Loyalty (PLL) enables consumers to automatically collect & redeem points, offers & rewards from their favourite stores by simply using their existing payment card.
Customers that scan their Iceland Bonus Card into the Bink app along with their existing a Visa, MasterCard or American Express payment card/s will automatically receive offers, special content and arrange home delivery during checkout without the need to present additional plastic to verbally provide personal information.

For Iceland the partnership enables a frictionless customer experience, a deeper understanding of customers individual needs, provides personalised rewards and displays the Bonus Card savings balance in a mobile app for the first time.

The agreement marks another success for Bink as it continues to turbo charge the UK loyalty industry.

Founder and CEO of Bink, Lee Clarke said:

“Partnering with one of the nation’s favourite supermarkets is further evidence that Payment Linked Loyalty is here to stay. We’re delighted to have Iceland on board and we’ll continue to work towards adapting the loyalty industry to meet the needs of today’s modern consumer.”

Iceland Nick Canning MD said:

“An increasing number of our customers are mobile savvy and partnering with Bink lets us stay relevant to them and their shopping needs. We’re thrilled to be introducing Bink across our 880 UK stores and look forward to the benefits it will bring for both us and our customers.”

Bink appoints PHA Media as PR Agency

Bink appoints PHA Media as PR Agency

Loyalty innovator Bink hires PHA Media

Soho-based public relations agency PHA Media has been selected by Bink, the UK Fintech start-up poised to improve the $100bn global loyalty sector, (available for free via The App Store and Google Play), to further raise its profile with its UK retail and travel businesses, technology investor and consumer target audiences, following a successful consumer launch in late 2016 and early funding rounds.

One of Britain’s fastest-growing Fintech start-ups, Bink has secured over £10 million seed investment to date and stands to help retailers, travel businesses and brands ‘turbo charge’ the loyalty sector. Its proprietary technology delivers payment card linked loyalty, securely linking customer’s payment cards to their loyalty schemes, enabling customers to pay as usual and enjoy seamless auto presentation of all their loyalty points and rewards automatically via shopping with their favourite stores and brands. Bink puts users in control, enabling access to all their loyalty memberships in one free app; they no longer need to carry around numerous plastic cards, instead they can earn the rewards they deserve quickly and simply by using their payment cards that are linked to Bink. Users can watch their points increase as they spend, see what they are worth and receive personalised offers from their favourite brands, all in one place.

Greg Gormley CFO and Co-Founder at Bink, said:

“We are excited to be working with PHA Media to boost our awareness further, and get in front of even more potential partners, investors and end-consumers across Britain."

Nick Braund, Head of Technology & Innovation at PHA Media, added:

“We are proud to be working with such a cutting-edge new client. Bink has launched a fantastic offering to the UK market, which we are all set to capitalise on. We look forward to working with Bink on revolutionising the old-school loyalty programme, and the end of having to hoard plastic loyalty cards!”

#RWL17 - Retail supremacy isn’t built in a day

#RWL17 - Retail supremacy isn’t built in a day

Our CFO / Co-founder Greg Gormley takes a moment to reflect on some of Retail Week Live's biggest takeaways:

Retail is in a constant state of reassessment about its future, which is why Retail Week Live is always such a stimulating event. Any industry that aims to keep re-inventing itself needs to be good at spotting its own strengths and weaknesses. It needs to be both self-obsessed and outward looking. Above all, it needs to understand that the path to the future is never, like a Roman road, built in a straight line.

I bet, like me, you came away from Retail Week Live with your head reeling; so much to do, so little time. Or, more to the point, so much to do and so little budget. This year’s Retail Week’s Retail 2017 report highlights what a tough year 2016 was for many retailers.  Fashion and Grocery had more than their fair share of woes, rocked both by cheaper competitors and online merchants. Things, however, can only get better. There appears to be renewed optimism that some of the revenue-sapping challenges can be addressed this year.

The report’s co-author, Henri Seroux, highlighted several themes for 2017. The two that stand out are instore experience and the need to better personalise customer communications. These are the critical differentiators that build better relationships with customers and ultimately compel them to shop in one store over another. The key word here is ‘compel’, in preference to other ways of capturing the essence of competitive advantage and customer loyalty; such as encourage, stimulate, entice or even persuade.

Instore experience can’t be faked

Bricks and mortar stores are back in vogue. They’re now more front line than ever as shoppers use them to complete purchase journeys perhaps started on the internet, and use them for further research. There’s no internet substitute for seeing and touching, or even smelling. Shoppers have been off into enchanting worlds of discovery for a while but appear once again to be coming back to earth. This is where they’re finding that they have enormous choice; they are omni-channel savvy, digitally connected, and like to make the easy assumption that the stores they shop in have kept up with all this digital wizardry.

Soft sell encouragement or stimulation doesn’t cut it anymore; the reasons to visit a store must be compelling. They must invest in the attraction of product with promise of added enjoyment, the thrill of being in the store. Creating this thrill is a complex task.

The report states:

“… customer expectations have changed radically over the past decade – even the essentially isolated, impersonal online experience has become a powerful, engaging and increasingly personal event…
The anonymous in-store shopping experience in particular may have been the norm for the past five decades, but the tide is turning and retailers urgently need to reconsider the quality, relevance and personalisation of that in-store experience if they are going to stay ahead in uncertain times.”

The process of making the ‘personal experience’ a reality, rather than a shallow and transparent machine response that shoppers can see right through, still seems to elude many retailers however. It takes a lot of technology to get truly personal yet a third of retailers say they are “several years away from having a single view of customer and stock.” No view of the customer, to me, seems to imply no view of the future, or even a grasp of the present challenges.

Customer communication can’t be fudged

The report observes that 28% of retailers intend to up the ante on personalisation in customer communications during 2017.  However, when you consider the challenges in tailoring those communications within the instore experience there are still many traditional technology barriers in the way. 

Currently the key means of driving communications are email and SMS, but smart money is on social media as hugely important channels for 2017, with 28% of retailers also confirming social media as a strategic priority. Identifying the building blocks of deeper customer relationship nurturing is one thing, but knowing how to construct a robust, workable, and sustainable interaction platform from them is a far bigger challenge.

Of course, it should also be considered that technology is the enabler in addressing vast audiences as if each person were the sole recipient of the communication.

A question of balance

In turning transactional relationships into sustainable connections (tipping the scales in your favour) there are a thousand questions to be asked, so to get the ball rolling here are what I’d suggest are four great starter questions: 

  • How do you know when a customer is in your store, for example?  
  • When a customer is at the till making a purchase, how can this critical transactional moment be tracked back to the customer’s online persona to improve insight and personalisation in the future?
  • What can you do at this significant tipping point to deliver compelling reasons for the customer to return?
  • In short, how do you build loyalty without the perception of desperation

A lot of questions to be answered, but there is an easier start point to customer engagement than setting out to create the monumental omni-channel edifice. Put one brick down first, then another.

Maybe trying to tackle the omni-channel experience is the wrong solution for initial relationship building foundations? Could it be that the solution lies in the hands of the consumer and the mobile device that is becoming central to their lives? We believe there is already a powerful way to connect with your customer at the most critical stage of the buying journey. Just Pay as normal with your payment card, contactless/chip & PIN and earn the rewards you deserve from the brands you love.

Bink - Greg Gormley CFO / Founder

Greg Gormley
CFO / Founder