EY India goes international with blockchain solution for loyalty systems

28 June 2018 Consultancy.in 3 min. read
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The applications of blockchain technology – while theoretically lauded since the technology was developed – have now begun to manifest themselves in a variety of fields. Professional services firm EY India has deployed the solution for a loyalty points system, which it will push in the international market as well. 

Blockchain technology was introduced to the world via the Bitcoin revolution, and has had just as warm a reception, although from a much smaller and more targeted audience than the latter. At its core, the new technology is a mechanism for data storage that serves the dual purpose of enhancing security as well as efficiency. 

To make data storage more efficient, the shared online ledger allows data to be distributed rather than copied, while the shared access allows each consensual user to edit entries in real time, allowing for constant updates. In the security domain, the shared and decentralised storage of data omits the risk of a single hack into a core system compromising all the data.

The generic nature of the technology allows for a plethora of possible applications, the most direct of which is in the banking and financial sector. In India, tech firms have instantly identified the potential of blockchain, and have been on investment and acquisition sprees to bolster their capabilities in the domain.

EY develops blockchain solution for loyalty management

IT giant Wipro, for instance, has adopted global collaboration as a strategy to enter the market, having joined an international blockchain consortium known as Hyperledger last year, while Infosys has entered a collaborative arrangement with seven major Indian banks that is set to operate entirely on a blockchain network.

Big Four accounting and advisory firm EY has now developed a blockchain-based solution that can be applied to ‘loyalty management,’ targeted at firms that offer loyalty points to their customers. The solution will help resurrect loyalty in the digital age by providing a one-stop shop offering for all its stakeholders in an increasingly competitive landscape,“ said Ram Sarvepalli, the Leader of Advisory Services at EY India. 

Currently, firms that offer loyalty programmes struggle with a lack of “interoperability,” according to EY. For instance, if a customer wishes to convert their loyalty points with a bank into a gift card or a token for another commercial platform, the process – if at all possible – proves to be complicated and time consuming.

The new solution will eliminate this problem altogether. As explained by Gaurav Handa, Director of Advisory Services at EY India, “If blockchain sits as a layer on top of these existing systems, the conversion and interoperability become near real time."

Commenting on the overall novelty of the solution, Handa added,“there are loyalty solutions that already exist in the market. What blockchain does is there is a common shared ledger between the whole ecosystem. So, everybody has trust in the transactions that is put in (the ledger)."