Samsung Rewards: Embattled Samsung Finally Gets It Right

by Grace Miller |

Samsung has been under intense scrutiny lately. From the recall on Galaxy Note 7 phones to faulty washing machines to political scandals, things haven’t been looking bright. But at least in one area–their Samsung Pay mobile payments product–they’ve made a smart move: introducing Samsung Rewards.

Samsung Rewards: The Overview

Samsung Rewards is a loyalty program within Samsung Pay to motivate users to make payments with the mobile wallet. Customers can then redeem their points within the app in exchange for Samsung products, Visa gift cards, and other third-party gift cards.

The rewards page within the Samsung Pay app.
The rewards page within the Samsung Pay app.


Samsung Pay and consequently Samsung Rewards are only available on Samsung phones made in recent years, but unlike most mobile wallets, Samsung’s solution works at older checkout terminals that require a magnetic card swipe.

Why Samsung Rewards Is a Smart Move

Here at Annex Cloud, we’ve been saying for some time that it’s naive of mobile payments providers to expect consumers to start adopting these methods without incentivizing them. Why would the bulk of shoppers start using a new, unfamiliar technology–particularly one that comes with worries about security–without any tangible benefit on their end, other than potentially saving a few seconds?

Mobile payment use is growing, though: 39% of all mobile users in the US had made a mobile payment in 2015, up from 14% in 2014. According to a TechCrunch analyst, this percentage will increase to 70 by 2017. Still, less than 1% of the value of all retail store payments occurred through a mobile wallet app in 2016. Thus, while the market is small now, it seems to have the potential to blossom into something much larger. That’s why it makes perfect sense for Samsung Rewards to enter the landscape.

Aside from increasing adoption rates, Samsung Rewards should provide another huge benefit to Samsung: data. We’ve known for decades now that loyalty programs are a treasure trove of customer data. Especially given that Samsung Pay has support for over 500 banks and credit unions, plus loyalty, membership, and gift cards, users who are satisfied will find that they’ll make most of their purchases with the app.

The Verge comments that “Samsung Rewards doesn’t stack up favorably against rewards programs from banks like Chase American Express, or Citi, [but] it isn’t dependent on having a card with them, and it could appeal to the early adopters who use Samsung Pay on a regular basis.”

When purchase data for consumers like these is combined with demographic and social data, the possibilities for Samsung and its partners’ marketing teams will be virtually endless.

For more ideas on how to use advocate marketing data, check out this post. To refine your own retention strategy for next year, don’t miss out on our guide, “Customer Retention in 2017: Driving Emotion with Technology!”

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