Gemplus Corporation announced today the availability of GemClub, a re-programmable smart card for loyalty programs that enables card issuers to set loyalty program parameters at the point of sale.
Smart cards are wallet-sized plastic cards that have a microprocessor or memory chip embedded in them that can store and process data. In loyalty applications, smart cards are used by airlines, retail chains, gas stations, and other consumer-oriented businesses to allow customers to collect points each time they perform a transaction.
GemClub’s new operating system, designed specifically for loyalty programs, features modularized intelligence and a re-programmable structure. The card’s intelligence incorporates patented counters that optimize memory, enabling the issuer to store loyalty program parameters — such as the percentage of the purchase to receive points or which days will have double points awarded — directly on the card. Since these rules are stored offline, the issuer can change them at the point of sale terminal, eliminating the need to reissue the card every time program rules are revised or a new award plateau is reached by a customer.
It is the card’s re-programmability that makes it possible to create and delete files, update data, and add new partnerships and applications at the point-of-sale terminal, after the card has been issued.
“In the intensely competitive drive to gain customer loyalty, it is becoming more and more important to personalize the relationship with the customer at the point of sale and to have technology that is quickly adaptable to changing market conditions,” said Bob Riesenbach, manager of Gemplus’ loyalty and private card business division in North America. “Gemplus has specifically designed GemClub to meet these requirements.”
In loyalty applications, smart cards equipped with microprocessors register new points instantly at the point of sale and provide information on the points earned when a purchase is made. Points can instantly be traded in for gifts, discounts, rebates, or services.
Loyalty points based on the amount of the transaction are then downloaded immediately into the chip on the card. Point balances are always current and ready for redemption, and are printed on the customer’s receipt after each transaction.
Gemplus Corporation is the North American subsidiary of Gemplus Group, the world’s leading producer of magnetic stripe and smart cards. It manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless), magnetic stripe cards, as well as electronic tags. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems; and provides personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions.
In 1996, Gemplus Group’s total sales were $440 million. By the end of 1997, the company will have a production capacity of 900 million plastic and smart cards.
Gemplus sells its products worldwide for such applications as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, security for computer networks and electronic commerce. Information about Gemplus’ products and services can be found on the World Wide Web at: .