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MasterCard Breaks Down Japan’s Reward Program Barriers

For Japan’s retailers wanting to offer customers robust rewards programs, the hurdles are high. According to reports, advertisers in the nation can only offer these services for their digital shoppers. But a new partnership between MasterCard and ValueCommerce will break down some of these barriers and allow advertisers to offer rewards programs and other loyalty tools for consumers visiting brick-and-mortar locations.

The companies announced their collaboration on Thursday (April 16), revealing plans to launch a new B2B marketing service aimed at boosting stores’ sales from tourists and international shoppers.

Part of the partnership, MasterCard and ValueCommerce said, includes a function that allows Japanese advertisers to business customers of rewards and loyalty program service provider Pinpoint, acquired by MasterCard last year. According to reports, Pinpoint already works with merchants and issuers throughout Asia and the Asia Pacific region.

Merchants in Japan are looking to cash in on a rising inbound travel market, reports said. Part of that trend includes businesses looking to strengthen customer relationships through loyalty programs targeted at international travelers visiting the country.

“Inbound business, a key strategy of the Japanese government, is expected to continue growing as more people from overseas visit Japan,” said MasterCard’s Asia Pacific Regoinal Lead of Loyalty Solutions – and Pinpoint CEO – Chris Fendley. “Our new service enables international visitors to benefit from various marketing offerings, such as pints and rewards in physical stores when they visit Japan, so businesses can use it to add value to their services.”

Fendley added that the new partnership is a “pivotal moment” for the company’s loyalty services in Japan. “Going forward, we will further leverage our leading technology to support payment-based companies with high-value services, as well as provide MasterCard cardholders with an increasing array of benefits,” he said.

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