Portal to issue virtual loyalty cards
A new portal has been opened offering retailers the chance to create, issue and administer virtual loyalty card schemes.
The WebCard Loyalty portal, from German-based fun communications, aims to enable dealers and portal operators to generate their own virtual loyalty and bonus cards in three steps at www.webcard-loyalty.com.
The company says plastic card can be replaced with virtual ones using Microsoft’s CardSpace, an authentication feature that comes with the Windows Vista operating system.
Beginning with the design and contents of the cards, over the definition of limited time voucher and discount campaigns, through to the issue of the virtual loyalty cards to customers via e-mail or as a download link; the free portal offers all of these features in a single user interface.
Detailed statistics are designed show dealers how successful their promotion campaigns have been. Fun coominications says the virtual loyalty card complements existing customer loyalty programs and links them with the virtual world of the Internet.
The WebCard Loyalty site offers customers a virtual loyalty card designed to eliminate the need for different user names and passwords.
The technology is based upon the open standard for information cards that is available for almost all operating systems and browsers.
Also, for example, information cards are implemented in the Windows CardSpace technology.
CardSpace enables a customer to store identity information on a computer in virtual cards, which the user clicks to submit information to CardSpace-enabled websites.
“Self-issued” cards store identity data on a user’s PC, while “managed” cards are stored by an identity provider. When logging in to other websites, the user can ask the identity provider to vouch for them. The user does not then have to remember a number of different passwords, a concept known as single sign-on.
Fun Communications hopes to sell the portal to identity providers, which in turn would sell the system to retailers with a loyalty card network.
“WebCard Loyalty combines in a unique way the benefits of User-Centric Identity Management with a customer loyalty and bonus program,” commented Stefan Bamberg, MD of fun communications.
“With information cards, Windows CardSpace creates the basis for future online transactions where security and data protection are concerned,” says Tom Köhler, director security strategy and communications at Microsoft Deutschland.
He added that CardSpace helps users to safeguard themselves against phishing attacks and at the same time to maintain control over their personal data.