Bank of Nova Scotia has added a customer loyalty component to its Visa Cash smart card trial in Barrie, Ontario.
Visa Canada said it is the "first community-based loyalty program for Visa Cash," which is undergoing more than 70 field trials worldwide. Until now the Visa Cash program in Barrie had offered only stored value. Now the cards also collect and track rebate points, which consumers will be able to accumulate at certain retail shops. Customers who amass enough points will get instant discounts.
An outlet of Second Cup, a chain of coffee shops, is the first retailer to let customers track loyalty points on their smart cards.
"As the trial in Barrie enters its second year, we are excited that the card is being transformed from just a cash replacement to a multi-purpose chip card," said Visa Canada president Derek Fry.
Also along these lines, Scotiabank Visa Cash cards were recently introduced for multiple purposes on campuses of Georgian College.
Smart card proponents say loyalty programs are likely to generate profits. Visa and MasterCard International are developing loyalty programs for Visa Cash and Mondex, respectively. Mondex USA launched a pioneering loyalty test with Burger King restaurants in the New York metropolitan area in May.