ZAPA Technology platform behind AIB Merchant Services success at 2011 Card & Payments Awards in London

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ZAPA Technology’s payment and coupon redemption platform was behind AIB Merchant Services’ achievement of 1st place in at the recent 2011 Card and Payments Awards in London.  AIBMS were awarded first place in the Best Merchant Acquiring Initiative category for AIBMS loyaltyplus.

Organised by Card Partnerships Limited, the annual Card & Payments Awards focus on best practice in this market.  This year’s awards ceremony held this month at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel was attended by over 1300 representatives of the best known brands in card and payments, and the entries were judged by an independent panel of 16 experts.

The AIBMS loyaltyplus solution utilises the ZAPATag, from ZAPA Technology, a contactless “NFC” tag that allows multiple loyalty cards to operate on a single tag to drive a points-based system, which is integrated with AIB Merchant Services point of sale terminals. This provides businesses with a customisable, low cost, effective and easy-to-use loyalty programme to help generate recurring footfall.  In addition to providing an effective loyalty programme, AIBMS loyaltyplus allows the Retailer to plan and execute on SMS campaigns direct to their most valued customers.

The exclusive deal between AIB Merchant Services and ZAPA Technology means that AIB Merchant Services is deploying a wireless technology NFC platform across approximately 40,000 terminals in Ireland and the UK. ZAPA has recorded more than 2 million transactions to date, with transactions running in excess of 100,000 per month.

John Nagle, CEO of ZAPA Technology said: “AIBMS, in launching such a service, has positioned itself as a pioneering retail-focused Merchant Acquirer.  Retailers will now be able to apply and leverage real-time data to maximise the spending habits of their customers, at a price point that better reflects a smaller retailer’s capability to invest in loyalty, enabling them to compete more effectively using loyalty and rewards as customer retention tools.  The highly targeted nature of the customer profiling has resulted in redemption rates for mobile coupons in excess of 70% in similar campaigns.”

AIBMS launched AIBMS loyaltyplus in July 2010. It is an innovative and pioneering scheme which enables retailers to maintain and enrich relationships with their customers. The AIBMS loyaltyplus solution not only helps retailers to attract and retain customers, it also provides a means to effectively communicate with targeted customers through built-in research and marketing tools.

When selecting this award, the judges said of the AIBMS loyaltyplus solution said “We note the massive penetration already achieved through this customer-friendly programme in Ireland and liked that all cardholders can benefit from the programme, irrespective of their card issuer, when shopping in all sizes of retailer using AIBMS as their acquirer”. AIBMS faced stiff competition in this category from many of the market leaders in card acquiring such the Barclay’s, Barclaycard Freedom.

Chris Mason, Managing Director, AIBMS said: “We developed this programme specifically with small to medium sized retail outlets and service providers in mind, to allow them to operate a loyalty programme on a par with larger retail chains. The AIBMS loyaltyplus solution also assists businesses by providing information and analysis of their own customer base and enables them to address specific consumer profiles with integrated communication tools. This programme is available to retailers in both Ireland and the UK”.