A Review of Global Loyalty Cards in Trinidad and Tobago
In September 2013 Trinidad Newsday published an article entitled “FlexKomDevelops a Loyalty Card” the article went on to describe how Flexkom a German company was introducing a global loyalty card, the first of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago.
Before the introduction of FlexKom the only loyalty cards available were cards issued by private companies such as the HiLo stores and Superpharm FlexKom was new in that sense because it could be used across the board.
The way it worked is that merchants would sign up to participate in the program for a fee of approximately $10,000 TTD which will enable them to integrate with FlexKom global system and become a part of the FlexKom network of participating stores.
These participating merchants offer discounts to their customers who are holders of the Flexkom loyalty cards. The most outstanding feature of the Flexkom cards is that if customer owned a smart phone they don’t need to carry a card. It also allows the merchant to send ads to their customers’ phones.
How the customers gets the card is a little bit confusing. On Morning Edition (youtube video) Ian Driscoll a big pappy with FlexKom told the interviewer that merchants could just sign up their customers and they will be issued a card. Then up pops this web site that says the customers must pay for theirFlexkom cards. There must be a reasonable explanation.
Customers would have purchased cards that offer from 5 to 25 percent off when they purchase. The discount percent is determined by how much the customer paid for the loyalty card which could be anywhere from $250 to $1000 TTD.
Add that to the fact that FlexKom has been getting a lot of negative internet traffic it makes one wonder if there is more in the mortar than the pestle, is that right. Experience on the net led to a search of the term “FlexKom scam” and articles, YouTube videos and even a Facebook page. There was one, however, that stood out like a sore thumb.
IMHO, the article was written by someone with considerable copy writing experience. Well crafted, it explained accusation away almost as if it was responding to unasked objections. Well done but it makes you wonder why Flexkom paid to counteract negative publicity that had no substance in fact.See it here.
By now you are probably thinking that I am bias; you’re right, I must admit. In my opinion, Flexkom is predatory; the gentleman on the TV said that they chose to bring Flexkom to T&T before the United States because...a local saw the vision.
To be perfectly honest with you, I only did research to see what the Flexkom card after I was introduced to the Beep Xtra Card. The Beep Xtra Card is also a global loyalty card; like the Flexkom card it originated in Europe. The difference is that there is no big local media launch but it has gone viral and is now in over 139 countries, it is in Barbados now. It was only launched last November 2013.
The big advantage the Flexkom card has over the Beep Xtra card is that an app for the smart phone has not yet been developed to interface with the merchant QR codes. It means that customers must carry the cards to get their discount credits.
But t he Beep Xtra card has taken off like a Chinese high speed train for a very good reason; it has gone viral. In this case it means it has simply spread like a virus quickly infects one person then another like the common cold.
It is spreading because it’s free for everyone, merchants and customers.
I am sure that someone could explain the confusion about whether you can get the Flexkom card free by the merchant registering his customers or whether customers must pay for their loyalty cards but either way nothing beats free’ especially for the merchant.
Because this card is free it does not have the large marketing budget that Flexkom is able to afford but the viral nature of this card will surpass what Flexkom has been able to accomplish in this market. Even with the onetime integration charge to the merchant he begins way ahead of the Flexkom model of charging up front and maintenance fees.
The Beep Xtra Card is only issued by invitation presently. Take a look at the video of the benefits ofthe card. Just leave a comment here.
You can only access the card by invitation.