Last week, the blockchain rewards platform MiL.k announced that it completed integration with South Korean online travel agency Yanolja’s platform. Now, customers of Yanolja can earn rewards and get access to the MiL.k platform for integrating, purchasing and cashing out points.
Yanolja is the only ‘unicorn’ travel company in South Korea and has over 20,000 partner accommodations across the country. Until now, the company has raised a total of $248 million and is backed by Booking Holdings, the owner of Booking.com.
Next month, Yanolja will release an update to its app toenable users to earn Yanolja Coin that can be used within the MiL.k ecosystem. MiL.k offers a blockchain solution which combines various rewards points systems on a single platform and makes them interchangeable for other services. For example, users can spend their frequent flyer points for paying the bill at a restaurant.
“By participating in MiL.k Alliance, service companies will increase the utility of their reward points, which is a clear benefit for their customers,” said Jayden Jo, CEO of MiL.k Alliance. “As more and more partners are onboarded, the MiL.k platform will function as an effective marketing tool where the partner companies can run co-promotions and events targeted at the platform’s huge customer pool.”
The MiL.k blockchain platform has two types of tokens. It’s own MiL.k Coins are used as an intermediate tool to exchange tokens for brand loyalty coins such as the Yanolja Coin. Any user who wants to buy rewards points as opposed to earn them, needs to buy the MiL.k token (through a crypto exchange) and spend it on the brand token. They may want to do so if they are a few points short of converting it for a benefit such as a flight.. Additionally, loyalty point owners can cash out by selling the points on the platform.
“I’m expecting the alliance will provide a wide range of benefits to our customers because MiL.k Alliance has a number of partnerships in the travel and lifestyle sectors, for example, with a duty-free store and car-sharing platform,” said Seokhwan Kang, Head of Marketing at Yanolja.
While reward point trading is one feature, MiL.k reduces platform development costs for companies who want to adopt blockchain. On the other hand, blockchain provides much-needed transparency for transactions in this shared ecosystem. According to the MiL.k website, it is currently working with Keyinside, Lambda 256, Seoul Airport Limousine Bus and Dilka, the vehicle sharing platform.
Earlier this year, Shinsegae Duty Free announced it is joining the Milk Alliance as a partner.
Blockchain for loyalty programs is a popular use case, and KPMG estimates blockchain tokens can boost consumer engagement with brands. Previously, card issuers Amex, as well as several airlines such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and AirAsia, adopted blockchain for their loyalty and rewards programs.