First came flimsy paper punch cards. Then came credit card-style loyalty cards that got lost in customers’ wallets. Now, a new set of apps and services are taking loyalty and rewards high tech with restaurants getting the added benefit of tracking customer data.
PerkVine boils the loyalty system down to three words: “Eat. Snap. Earn.” Eat at a participating restaurant. Take a photo of your receipt and mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get your cash rebate. It’s geared for business customers that often rack up big bills. Restaurants pay out a reward rate (typically 15 percent of the bill) only when customers use the system. PerkVine is active in San Francisco with more cities coming soon.
Punchh turns the loyalty card concept into iPhone and Android apps. Customers get their virtual cards punched and can redeem punches for rewards. Punchh encourages social networking by hooking up with users’ Facebook accounts. Pricing starts as low as $39 per month.
This service adds cash rewards to the check-in app concept. A WeReward restaurant chooses reward to offer and what is required to earn it. For example, a customer has to submit a picture of himself with a menu item. No set-up costs, but a variable fee goes to WeReward.