ValueCommerce Co., Ltd. and MasterCard have agreed to launch a marketing service that will enable advertisers in Japan to provide reward points and other preferential services when consumers visiting Japan shop at their physical stores beginning from June.
Advertisers in Japan are expected to use the service to grow their inbound retail businesses by providing international customers with enhanced shopping experiences while traveling in Japan.
The business-to-business (B2B) service will be offered by ValueCommerce using MasterCard technologies. Currently, advertisers in Japan can only provide such services when shoppers make purchases online, but not in physical stores. This partnership will allow advertisers to close the loop and reward customers for in-store transactions, in order to drive more sales from international shoppers.
The service will also enable advertisers to send promotional information to customers of Pinpoint Pty. Ltd., a major Australian loyalty-reward service provider acquired by MasterCard last year. Pinpoint manages rewards programs for issuers and merchants throughout Asia-Pacific, including Australia, Greater China, India and Japan.
Inbound business has been growing in Japan due to fast-rising inbound travel, which has been strongly supported by Japan’s central government. Companies involved in inbound business are becoming increasingly interested in building stronger relationships and offering loyalty rewards to customers who visit Japan.
Looking ahead, MasterCard and ValueCommerce intend to further leverage their mutual strengths by combining the know-how of ValueCommerce, a pioneer in affiliate marketing, with MasterCard’s global network, extensive experience with loyalty services, analytics capabilities and secure, comprehensive technologies.
"We are pleased to cooperate with MasterCard to launch a new service in the highly competitive field of inbound business, which is growing as Japan’s inbound tourism continues to rise. In partnership with MasterCard, we aim to maximize the benefits for customers who visit the physical stores of our advertisers. We will leverage our experience and know-how in sending customers from online to offline and O2O solutions," said Jin Kagawa, Representative Director, President and CEO of ValueCommerce.
"Inbound business, a key strategy of the Japanese government, is expected to continue growing as more people from overseas visit Japan. Our new service enables international visitors to benefit from various marketing offerings, such as points and rewards in physical stores when they visit Japan, so businesses can use it to add value to their services. We are pleased to partner with ValueCommerce to support inbound businesses. This is a pivotal moment for MasterCard’s loyalty solutions in Japan. Going forward, we will further leverage our leading technology to support payment-based companies with high-value services, as well as provide MasterCard cardholders with an increasing array of benefits," said Chris Fendley, Asia-Pacific Regional Lead of Loyalty Solutions at MasterCard and CEO of Pinpoint.