Forget Rupee and Dollar. Reward Points Are the New Currency!

Rewards and loyalty fintech TWID is working to empower various customers—from startups to corporates—to use reward points as a mode of payment

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Are you at a loss of how to make use of the loyalty points earned from credit/debit cards, retail brands, travel platforms and other avenues? Dual-headquartered in Bengaluru and Singapore, rewards and loyalty startup TWID is working to turn reward points into currency that can be used freely for everything everywhere.

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Tracing the inception of the company, Twid co-founder Amit Koshal says, "We were living in a cash economy that moved to use plastic cards and later apps. This change was driven by a backbone of rewards, with people holding two credit cards, and which one they would use was dependent primarily on the benefits they would get on that card. But those rewards were never reimagined and remained a locked asset. The users usually don't know how many points they have, where to use them and how."

But in the current age with multiple options to buy, loyalty takes precedence for influencing customer choice. TWID, short for 'that's what I do', is working to unlock this asset and give it back to customers to be used as a mode of payment. The fintech claims to be empowering banks, brands, acquirers and customers to make their program completely viable for business and turn their app into a contactless payment mode for offline payments or as a checkout option on online merchants using "pay with rewards".

"We are building a network effect business and both sides need to grow together for the network effect to truly work. The initial phase of our business was to get all the relevant partners integrated to effectively start scaling the business and it's working smoothly now," says Koshal.

According to Koshal, the current market scene in the loyalty and rewards sector is very promising given that digital payments are increasing at a rapid pace. According to the Q1 2022 Global Loyalty Programs Survey, the Loyalty Programs Market is expected to grow by 12.6 per cent on an annual basis to reach $142.6 billion in 2022. Access to a large consumer base, rapid digitalization, and consumers' inclination toward rewards programs primarily supported the strong market growth in the Asia-Pacific region, including India.

"This enhanced transparency, awareness, and the ease through which consumers can spend loyalty points online and helped retailers capture revenue streams that may have become more illiquid than usual," says Koshal, adding, "TWID is built and scaled as an embedded ecosystem of partners deeply integrated into the platform. And its functions are similar to a payment network platform."

Koshal believes that young entrepreneurs today are equipped with the best practices to build large enduring businesses. "I believe ensuring the right product market fit before expanding or fuelling growth is very critical. Getting the right team at the right time to execute is also important. As far as fundraising goes, it is always best to start earlier than later," he says.