American Express to Add Blockchain to Membership Rewards Program

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On Wednesday, American Express announced a blockchain application to its Membership Rewards program.

Using Hyperledger’s blockchain technology, merchants will be tailor customized offers using Membership Rewards points on their own platform with the goal of increasing engagement and usage rates with their customers through the use of the best American Express card available to the customer at the time. The pilot trial with Boxed will let members earn up to 5x the normal number of points on certain products, according to the press release.

This is a notable application of blockchain, as American Express’ Membership Rewards is one of the company’s most notable and strongest assets and exists in 21 countries.

The blockchain implementation is designed to keep all merchant and user data private, anonymized, and secure. It will also help increase transparency of what merchants are offering for American Express, as well as decreasing the onboarding time for new partners down from the months to “a matter of weeks”.

While many don’t immediately think of American Express as exploring and innovating within the blockchain realm, it’s worth noting that the company joined the Linex Foundation-led Hyperledger in January 2017. Additionally, American Express invested in Abra’s $12m Series A round in September 2015.

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