Rental-car company delves into cryptocurrency for rewards program

MINNEAPOLIS - 

Perhaps what’s being leveraged in the rental car space could be making its way into other forms of auto financing, as traditional vehicle leasing remains strong and car subscription products gain steam.

As new generations enter the work force and begin traveling for business and leisure, they are looking to engage with brand loyalty programs that offer incentives that are more relevant and meaningful than those that incentivized their parents and grandparents. With an eye toward the future, Persuade Loyalty, a global loyalty and customer relationship management (CRM) agency, recently announced CryptoRewards Exchange (CRE), a new rewards redemption option that can allow the agency's clients to offer customers cryptocurrency, a cutting-edge redemption option for brands to incentivize and reward loyalty program members.

Persuade’s launch partner, EZ Rent-A-Car, is the first Persuade partner to join the new CRE, making EZ the first company in travel to offer cryptocurrencies as a redemption option for its loyalty program, EZ Money. Persuade expects to announce additional CRE partners in the coming weeks.

“We created the CryptoRewards Exchange to provide more relevant redemption options for the evolving EZ customer base,” said Joe Doran, vice president of client services for Persuade Loyalty.

“Since EZ’s target market is largely Millennials and Gen Y, CryptoRewards Exchange is a natural fit for EZ customers. The EZ Money loyalty program is a brand built for the young, savvy leisure traveler and the CRE concept resonated with EZ right away,” Doran continued.

Persuade Loyalty insisted that studies show that cryptocurrency redemption options are more meaningful to millennials than more traditional redemption rewards, such as gift cards or branded merchandise. Cryptocurrency can provide an immediate benefit or serve as a foundation for financial growth.

“EZ Rent-A-Car has consistently been an innovator in providing high-quality car rentals at an affordable price to youthful customers who seek their next adventure. We think rewarding those customers with products that help them explore fits perfectly with our brand,” said Scott Davido, chief executive officer and president of Advantage and EZ Rent-A-Car.

Doran noted consumers in their 20s and 30s account for the significant growth and use of blockchain currencies for investment and digital payments using cryptocurrencies. Despite their growing popularity, he added that cryptocurrencies can be daunting to new users due to the large number of currencies in the market today and the complexity of the underlying technology, the blockchain, which often have a high barrier to entry.

“We designed the exchange to help educate and ease entry,” Doran said. “Using CRE, customers can create an account and own cryptocurrency within minutes versus using a traditional exchange, which requires setting up a digital wallet, which can be expensive and time consuming.”

Doran further explained that unlike other loyalty programs that have a connection to cryptocurrency, CRE members are not limited to using a currency that is created for the sake of a loyalty program. Instead, members can choose which currency they want to exchange for their points.

The CRE loyalty redemption option is geared toward people of all ages who are interested in exploring and experiencing the crypto market with reduced risk and without committing personal funds. It lets them try before they buy. There are more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies on the market with new ones being regularly introduced.

According to Doran, the CRE is offering some of the larger named cryptocurrencies that have experienced a loyal following, including Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin — the first and biggest decentralized digital currency in the world. As the CRE service expands, the options for redemption will greatly increase.

Persuade Loyalty went on to note that cryptocurrencies have gained popularity with investors because they often offer lower transaction fees than traditional online banking programs.

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