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Fujitsu launches blockchain coupon service for tourism

japanese tourist attraction

Today Fujitsu announced the launch of a new service to encourage sightseers to visit tourist attractions, markets, and shopping centers. By using a QR scanner on their phones, tourists can scan codes to collect digital points and stamps. Travelers swap the points for coupons to use in retail outlets in the local area.

Being able to change promotions in real time is very appealing. Tourists from certain countries or regions often have very particular interests. For instance, those tastes might be for high-end shopping, going on country walks, visiting museums, or a trip to the local beer garden.

Consequently, by adapting the offerings to different interests, you can drive footfall. Tourists will find things that appeal to them plus it helps the local economy. And economic revitalization in rural and tourists areas is one of Fujitsu’s aims.

Japan’s tourist numbers have been trending upwards. So far in 2018 overseas visitors are up 150% on 2014. The trend is not just for international travelers but for Japanese sightseers as well.

How it works

By recording the collection and usage of the points and coupons on a blockchain, the data is available for analysis. Any tourist activity patterns identified can then help to drive sightseers to particular areas.

As a result, retailers or tourists attractions can attract more footfall plus increase the willingness to buy.

Fujitsu has run several field trials for what they call digital ‘stamp rally’ promotions using blockchain. So far, these trials included partnering with railway companies, stores, and banks.

Sales of the service started in Japan today. The name of the service is a little wordy: Fujitsu Intelligent Society Solution Blockchain Asset Service.

Other initiatives

Coupons and loyalty are natural applications for blockchain because they involve sharing data amongst different parties. The Fujitsu one is perhaps the most naturally decentralized, in that locations can partner with retailers.

The other high profile coupon application is Amex. They recently launched a rewards pilot with online retailer Boxed. For now, the retailer drives the promotion’s targeting, perhaps to clear stock.

Brick and mortar retailers charge product companies like Procter & Gamble and Unilever for in-store promotions. It won’t be long before Amex, Mastercard and the like grab a piece of that money by offering these promotions at the checkout.

Just this week the US patent office awarded Mastercard a patent related to blockchain and coupons.