Cross Border Commerce

X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker: Loyalty, International Style

Travelers and tourists are typically game to shell out for trinkets, souvenirs or goods they can’t typically get at home during their visits abroad.

According to the Global Business Travel Association, spending on global business travel reached a record $1.2 trillion in 2015, and global tourism spending totaled $7.2 trillion last year, reported the World Travel and Tourism Council.

But how can retailers turn these single purchases into repeat sales and convert passing tourists into loyal customers?

PYMNTS recent caught up with Asad Jumabhoy, founder of UTU, an app-based cross-border loyalty and rewards platform, to discuss how merchants can turn travelers into returning customers.

Here’s a preview:

UTU is designed to be an effortless experience for consumers. It starts with downloading the app from the App Store or Google Play and creating an account with up to five reward-offering credits listed. Then, it’s time to start planning a trip — and fielding offers.

“When consumers shop overseas or at home, the issuer and the network want the same thing — for that consumer to shop with their card. Top of wallet is their goal. Issuers can offer consumers points for using their card on those trips or using it in a certain way or at certain merchant locations. Merchants can offer points for visiting them, and individual merchants can make offers,” Jumabhoy said.

Once a traveler arrives in the destination country, they simply swipe or dip their cards at participating retailers and get pings on their phones informing them of their rewards.

Consumers will have a choice whether “to bank those points or to cash out at the merchant with that purchase,” Jumabhoy explained.

Around the X-Border commerce world

There’s been a lot of movement in recent weeks in the cross-border space, with a spate of new partnerships and ventures, and Asia has been an epicenter for much of the activity.

Adyen, for one, had a busy month, as the payments company rolled out new partnerships with Sabre Airline Solutions and NetSuite. The company also announced it expanded its global acquiring division to include Australia, Brazil and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Computop debuted a new partnership with PayU designed to help broaden the company’s international reach, and a recently announced partnership from Alipay and Zapper will enable hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists visiting the U.K. to use the Alipay app at more than 1,000 locations in Britain.

The November X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™ also features the latest news and analysis and contains profiles of 121 global payment service providers, including six new additions to the Tracker.


To download the November edition of the PYMNTS X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™, click the button below.


About The Tracker

The PYMNTS X-Border Payments Optimization Tracker™ is the framework for evaluating players in the cross-border payments landscape, and the quarterly index tests the readiness of the companies to serve a global audience.


Featured PYMNTS Study: 

With eyes on lowering costs to improving cash flow, 85 percent of U.S. firms plan to make real-time payments integral to their operations within three years. However, some firms still feel technical barriers stand in the way. In the January 2020 Making Real-Time Payments A Reality Study, PYMNTS surveyed more than 500 financial executives to examine what it will take to channel RTP interest into real-world adoption. Here’s what we learned.

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