Pointopia – A New Way to Redeem Rewards Points

Payments Leader

Posted on May 19, 2016


When it comes to cashing in on payment card rewards, most consumers are missing out. While six in 10 cards offer some type of reward component, consumers only redeem about two-thirds of all earned rewards. Likewise, according to a recent Colloquy Customer Loyalty Census, of the $54 billion worth of perceived value miles and reward points doled out by American businesses each year, 33 percent go unredeemed.

So how do you keep your customers out of this one-third segment? It’s simple: provide an easy way to turn rewards into currency.


The majority of today’s consumers participate in multiple loyalty rewards programs. While they traditionally manage each account separately, there is a simple solution to managing all rewards accounts at once. FIS has created a new solution called Pointopia™ that combines all rewards points, coupons and offers from participating retailers, service providers and financial institutions; it then aggregates all rewards, turning them into currency that can be used at the point-of-sale – anytime, anywhere.

This latest addition to the growing economy that represents open loyalty rewards, Pointopia presents similar benefits to those offered by existing programs, while providing extra incentives and capabilities that take reward programs to a new level of engagement and redemption.

The Evolution of Reward Programs

To better engage with modern consumers, more and more financial institutions are entering this “open economy” for loyalty. Primarily sparked by increased mobility and technical innovations as well as the desire to cement the cardholder’s loyalty, Pointopia allows loyalty reward currencies to function as exchangeable, flexible currency in retail transactions. Consumers are able to freely combine and/or exchange rewards currencies among programs within an ever-growing universe of merchants.

Several companies already offer programs that attempt to offer consumers this type of freedom and flexibility through specific types of reward models. These include:

Closed Earn, Closed Redemption Model: Rewards earned and redeemed with one program operator
Closed Earn, Open Redemption: Rewards earned with one program operator but redeemed for a variety of rewards
Open Earn, Open Redemption Model: Rewards earned from multiple companies and redeemed for a variety of rewards.
Rewards Currency Conversion Model: Rewards earned can be transferred from one program into another program; No ability to use points as payment and no merchants or programs in the U.S.
Rewards Currency as Cash: Rewards earned can be used like cash directly in a merchant checkout path

How Pointopia Works

Unlike these examples, Pointopia is a true open economic system that provides an open exchange of rewards for consumers across multiple programs and merchants. Armed with an intuitive app that lets them redeem points and miles at the POS, users are able to combine any number of reward points and miles, offers and coupons, with credit/debit to pay for purchases at brick and mortar or online. Pointopia also allows cardholders to view all their rewards balances in one place and choose where they want to shop using the location-enabled Pointopia app, which will identify nearby participating merchants. They can also use any number of points and miles from any or all programs, combining them with offers, coupons, and gifts as they see fit.

Evolving the Rewards Market

According to surveys, today’s consumers have very specific concerns when it comes to choosing reward programs. In addition to ease of earning points and actual monetary rewards, more than half want redemption to be easier.

Pointopia satisfies these desires and a host of other requests, while allowing financial institutions to increase engagement, create additional point redemption options, add value to individual loyalty programs, boost participating merchant traffic, accelerate card usage, increase interchange and, best of all, drive brand recognition.

Leave us a comment with your thoughts on this exciting trend in rewards programs.


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Payments Leader

Payments Leader from FIS provides insights on credit, loyalty, fraud and emerging payments strategies through blog posts from our industry experienced authors.