Interviews

Charles Miller

Zdravko Loborec: Bringing blockchain efficiency to loyalty programmes

The integration of blockchain technologies into mainstream business, both as money and for data recording, continues apace. A Vancouver entrepreneur, Zdravko Loborec, is the founder of REM Loyalty, a provider of ‘off the shelf’ loyalty programmes for all kinds of business. 

REM Loyalty started in 2017 and now boasts more than 300 well-known brands that its users can spend its tokens on. It sells to businesses who want an easy and efficient way to set up a loyalty programme without having to start from scratch. 

REM’s business customers can reassure their end users that the scheme overcomes most of the drawbacks of loyalty programmes. As Zdravko explains: “The biggest problems in loyalty rewards that people complain about is that their points expire, they can’t transfer them to other people, they don’t convert to cash. Well, when you build your loyalty point actually onto the blockchain and turn it into a form of cryptocurrency, all those problems go away.” 

The company has created its own currency, the REM dollar, which is itself a cryptocurrency, but can be converted into BSV or other currencies on the company’s platform if the user chooses to redeem it. 

The other side of REM Loyalty’s relationship with blockchain is that it is used to record transactions of its token: “It’s made things a lot more efficient,” Zdravko says. 

One of the company’s clients is a Canadian property management company, RentPerks. They used REMs to reward their clients for ‘good behaviour’—things like getting a clean inspection report or paying their rent on time. But the renters can do more than that if they choose: they can use the platform to exchange BSV for REMs and use them to pay their rent. 

Another client is a travel agent, where, similarly, REM can be used to book flights and holidays. 

Zdravko says that what excites him about the business is the possibilities for new levels of efficiency: “No one likes to swipe their card and lose four or five per cent—and it happens to us all the time.” With blockchain, the charges are far lower. But what’s important to the customer is the end product, not the fact that it’s built on blockchain, because “they don’t care.” 

That message came through before the company asked its developers to “unblockchain” its apps. It was a response to clients’ confusion with earlier versions—when they were “coming back and saying ‘we don’t understand what you mean by download a wallet’ …and there was a lot more than that.”

REM Loyalty has “eight large commercial clients in various parts of the world …we’ve got deals in place with Mastercard and Visa—so in 104 countries we can already convert at any point in time up to $1000 from REM into cash at a 1% conversion rate.” The company is self-funded and has never had to raise money from outside investors. Zdravko says it has been “revenue-positive” since its first year.

Hear more from Zdravko Loborec in this week’s CoinGeek Conversation podcast:

You can also watch the podcast video on YouTube.

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