Singapore-headquartered Carry is teaming up with Spoqa of South Korea to bring cryptocurrency payment and blockchain-enhanced loyalty points to brick-and-mortar retailers.
Carry’s service will be rolled out in more than 10,000 kiosks installed at shops, restaurants and cafes across South Korea and Japan. Spoqa operates the kiosks for more than 15 million registered users. Activating Carry on the existing hardware will only require a software update, making it possible to start international operations quickly.
The Spoqa co-founders are starting Carry as a new, separate company. Their team has seven years experience growing Spoqa from zero to 15 million customers, with rewards enabled for over US$1 billion in transactions in Korea and Japan, and US$10 million in funding.
“It makes sense for Carry to be its own entity. This way, we can seek out partnerships with other loyalty programs like Spoqa in other countries. In fact, we are reserving a large portion of our token supply precisely for recruiting new member companies,” said Grant Sohn, Co-founder of Spoqa and Carry.
“One of the most exciting features of Carry is how it gives shoppers direct ownership of the transaction data they create when making a purchase at brick-and-mortar retail locations,” said Richard Choi, Co-founder of Spoqa and Carry.
Shoppers have the option of selling some or all of this data directly to marketers. All shared data is anonymised, as it is associated with one or more cryptocurrency wallet addresses, rather than a person’s real name.
To incentivise opt-in data sharing, the system will introduce the CRE token (pronounced “carry”), which shoppers can use as currency to pay for goods and services at participating retail locations.
Merchants of Carry-enabled shops can use it to create custom branded token “loyalty points” based on smart contracts.
Shoppers will receive CRE from third-party advertisers as reimbursement for their data. In return, advertisers can access a consolidated database of anonymised offline shopper data – a goldmine considered to be the holy grail for marketers.
All of the conveniences the Carry Protocol brings to shoppers are accessible via a free smartphone app. Users of the app can search for Carry-enabled merchants in their local area. The app also functions as a cryptocurrency wallet.
Shoppers can make cryptocurrency payments at the checkout counter by just scanning a QR code. They can even pay with cash and still scan the code to save their transaction data. As soon as the payment is processed, store-branded tokens will appear in their Carry wallet from the store, for use in future purchases.