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Use reward points, don’t lose them

Published : Nov 19, 2015, 6:33 am IST
Updated : Nov 19, 2015, 6:33 am IST

Pay-by-card is an option most users opt for variety of reasons, one being the reward point benefits that can be redeemed later.

Pay-by-card is an option most users opt for variety of reasons, one being the reward point benefits that can be redeemed later. But ask a user how many reward points they have in their card(s) and it’s highly unlikely for them to recall a value even slightly close to it.

From an average of reward points worth Rs 50 crores that are earned in India in a month, the monthly redemption is only worth Rs 20 crores, indicating that reward points worth Rs 30 crores remain unutilized, every month.

Paybypoints, a service introduced by payment solution provider Pine Labs, enables card holders to pay for purchases and services instantly through their reward points at a wide range of merchants.

An avid credit card user, 27-year-old Swati Khanna, switched to Citibank for offers, discounts and deals her HDFC Bank credit card did not offer, but the hassle in redeeming the loyalty points on her credit cards persisted with both. In fact, it doubled with two credit cards, often resulting in expiration of those points. A new service called, PaybyPoints could help solve this problem for many, like Khanna.

“For my points’ worth, the online redemption store at HDFC listed items, like, frying pans and pressure cooker. I didn’t need them at the moment and my points lapsed,” says Khanna.

Pine Labs came up with this service when they observed a trend of unutilised reward points in the country. They have tied up with a list of merchants that accept the redemption of reward points as payment through Pine Labs’ point of sale (POS).

“The process of redeeming points is cumbersome for most users. Since we were all ready in the network of payment solutions, it made sense for us to address this need,” said

Vikas Bhasin, Chief Financial Officer at Pine Labs. Along with convenience of paying by points directly at stores, it also enables users with choices that lacked at the conventional redemption stores. Left with very little choice towards the lapse date of his loyalty points, Pavan Neelgund, an SBI Gold credit card user bought vouchers that could be used at stores.

“Pay by point seems like a great initiative. This way the reward points would actually make sense,” Neelgund said. Pine Labs has a network of close to 110,000 merchants that it provides payment solutions to. At present, it has installed 5,000 point-of-sale devices at some of its merchants, enabling them to accept Paybypoint payment.

“The service is available for users of Amex, Citibank, Axis Bank, Payback and many nationalised banks under the Loyalty Rewards Program,” Bhasin said.

Apple, BOSE, Samsung, The Mobile Store, Croma, Clarks, Dabur new U, Vishal Megamart, VLCC, Wildcraft, Beer cafe, Costa Coffee, Chaos, Shoppers Stop, Babyoye, Central, Westside, Marks & Spencer are some merchants where Paybypoints service is currently available.

Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru