AR loyalty benefits from Mastercard

MasterCard wants to connect your credit card to an augmented reality to allow cardholders to ‘see, explore and access the benefits’ of their account.

The application uses augmented reality to deliver a photorealistic experience that ‘transports users to a 360-degree virtual environment, where a series of interactive portals brings their card benefits to life’.

Payments giant Mastercard launched a new augmented reality (AR) app this month that lets cardholders get a bird’s-eye view of their benefits. It’s a move that the company hopes will drive engagement and loyalty, and add value to the offerings of its partner financial institutions.

“At Mastercard, we’re using our technology and solutions to deliver multisensory experiences for consumers every day,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, in a statement. “By leveraging an intuitive AR design, cardholders can now easily find and fully explore their benefits that otherwise might have been overlooked.”

To access the app, users must scan their Mastercard to start the session to see portals corresponding to different types of Mastercard benefits. The portals offer an immersive, 360-degree experience, and users can tap on each item on their phone screen to learn about each benefit.

Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president of North America marketing and communications at Mastercard, explained that the augmented reality tools were developed after Mastercard noticed many customers did not understand the extent of their card benefits.

“It’s an ongoing challenge because you get a brochure in the mail with your card when it comes in, you may look at it then and kind of forget about it,” she said. “[With the augmented reality] you have the ability to have [information] right at your fingertips in a really easy-to-digest and immersive way.”

Guerin said some customers don’t know which card perks for which they are eligible, so Mastercard developed what it calls an entertaining way for customers to engage and learn about their benefits.

According to Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, the company is leveraging an intuitive AR design to avoid customers missing out on card benefits.

The new platform is directed at ‘Digital-first consumers’ who Tim Sloane, vice president at Mercator Advisory Group, identifies as ‘the first to explore and use technology’.

How it works is by connecting your credit card to the MasterCard phone application, which will then prompt users to scan the area around them.

Three different portal types will then presented – ExperiencesEveryday Value and Peace of Mind – depending on the kind of benefit available in the area.

Benefits like discounts at a spa would fall under the peace of mind category.

Once inside the application will detail relevant items with benefits in real-time through augmented reality.

Unlike the first version of the platform, users do not have to use smart glasses to view the AR, with the ‘portals’ appearing directly on your phone screen.