Increased competition due to the emergence of fintechs, new payments enabling technologies and an ever-changing regulatory landscape are leading towards a more open and collaborative ecosystem. Payment vendors are expected to reshape their offers with a stronger focus on adding value to their payment services within that ecosystem. Koomalooma supports its customers in boosting transaction volumes through loyalty and incentivisation. The organization offers a Business-Process-as-a-Service. “It is not only a loyalty platform, but an entirely managed program”, says Massimiliano Silenzi, CEO of Koomalooma.
With a cross-industry background in fintech, payments, and mobile technologies, Silenzi founded Koomalooma in 2015 along with his partners. His goal was to take advantage of his experience in managing a digital payments company for 5 years, and over 12 years in the mobile industry developing a value-adding loyalty service, designed for modern digital payments. Silenzi underlines that loyalty programs are not a simple feature. Contrarily, they require specific know-how, complex business and marketing processes to be managed effectively. Koomalooma offers a technical platform and a standard managed process. In that way, Koomalooma’s partners can benefit from loyalty services for their customers.
When asked to identify Koomalooma’s core customers, Silenzi explains they work both directly with digital merchants such as game companies, app publishers and ecommerce stores, and with payment providers that package Koomalooma loyalty offerings into their services. Koomalooma is used not only to reward users’ transactions, but also for what Silenzi defines as “non-transactional activities”, such as sharing on social media, writing product reviews, or any other user action that can support marketing and sales.
Two birds, one stone: Retroclaim technology
Upon further discussion, Silenzi introduces a proprietary technology, Retroclaim, which is developed by his team. Retroclaim promises a friction-less payment flow and maximized purchase conversion. Silenzi explains that one of the main issues to be resolved when implementing loyalty into the payment flow is not interrupting the payment flow, since the benefit of the loyalty program could be potentially outweighed by a decrease in purchase conversion.
“Imagine you are making a purchase in a big supermarket, and you are asked by the cashier for your bonus card, or asked if you are interested in signing up to the bonus program.” he begins to illustrate. “It is quite unlikely you will run out of the super market and not buy your goods. However, in the online world, things are different. Any additional step requested of the user, from asking for a loyalty card ID to asking to fill out personal details to subscribe to a program, will cause a decrease in purchase conversion. The user can always shut down the browser, close the shopping cart, etc.”. He continues explaining, “So we thought, why don’t we change the paradigm? Why don’t we invert the flow from sign-up, purchase and redeem, to first purchase, then sign-up and redeem? This is what Retroclaim is about”. The points are issued to anonymous users for each purchase through Retroclaim, and the user is prompted to sign up to the program upon successful completion of the purchase. Should the user not sign up, Koomalooma keeps track of the points earned by the anonymous user. Should the user make another purchase, the system will again prompt the user to sign up, remembering the points earned the previous time(s), and add them to the new points earned. As Silenzi points out, “The closer you are to the reward, the stronger you are incentivized to take the time to sign up and share your personal details”.
Back to the future of the payments industry
When asked about his thoughts about the payment industry and what role Koomalooma aims to play in the future, Silenzi says he sees a lot of consolidation in general. Players are aiming to increase scale and reach, but also opposite to a commoditisation of payments, providers are expanding into new channels, technologies and value added services, including loyalty, where Koomalooma aims to play a leading role. Silenzi believes that blockchain will also have a major role in transforming the financial services industry. “I was recently at a major fintech conference, about half of the attendees, speakers, sessions, were from fintech, traditional financial service companies and banks. The other half were from the blockchain and crypto world. Interestingly, these two worlds seemed quite separate. In a few years I envision them to be strongly interlinked and connected.”
Eye on the Dutch fintech ecosystem
Silenzi explains that Koomalooma are seeking to develop relations with key players in the Dutch fintech ecosystem, and to interact and learn from other Holland FinTech members’ experiences. In the rapidly changing environment of fintech, where regulations and technologies evolve continuously, it is vital for players to be connected, share experiences and united, he says.
By Asli Seven, Research Analyst