A prominent stablecoin issuer, Circle has entered a strategic alliance with Taiwan’s top cryptocurrency service provider, BitoGroup, and the renowned convenience store chain, Taiwan FamilyMart. This move aims to revolutionize the use of loyalty points, enhancing their utility and facilitating a seamless transition into the digital economy for Taiwanese consumers.
The collaboration introduces an innovative ‘Points-to-Crypto’ service through the Taiwan FamilyMart App and the BitoPro Exchange. This game-changer service allows customers to convert FamilyMart loyalty points, FamiPoints, into digital currencies such as USDC. Notably, this process maintains the value of the loyalty points and eliminates transaction fees, democratizing access to cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, this initiative aligns perfectly with Circle’s comprehensive strategy of driving digital asset innovation forward. The company has previously integrated its Web 3 Services platform with prominent apps like Grab, the go-to super app in Southeast Asia for transport, deliveries, and payments. Set to commence in Singapore, this integration strives to enrich user experiences by leveraging blockchain-powered solutions, demonstrating Circle’s dedication to working with global consumer internet giants.
In Taiwan, convenience stores are pivotal, and loyalty points accumulated there carry significant value. The Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) highlighted in their 2021 survey that ‘Points Accumulation and Redemption’ stood out as the most valued function among primary retail app services. The collaboration taps into this trend, with BitoGroup’s impressive membership base of nearly 800,000 and a 90% market share in Taiwan playing a crucial role.
BitoGroup, an essential partner in this venture, boasts a wide range of services. These include BitoPro, a cryptocurrency exchange, BELS, a platform dedicated to NFTs, and O2 META, a social media platform focusing on the metaverse.
Donghao Liu, the Digital Finance Department Director at Taiwan FamilyMart, shared insights on the improved service. According to Liu, this enhanced feature is a testament to Taiwan FamilyMart’s continuous commitment to providing its members with diverse and user-friendly options for point utilization. He emphasized the service’s simplicity, offering a wider range of virtual currencies for FamiPoints exchange, and its potential positive influence on Taiwan’s loyalty points economy.
Interestingly, since 2014, customers have had the option to purchase Bitcoin at Taiwan FamilyMart outlets nationwide. This new partnership marks a transition from in-store experiences to online financial tools, affirming Taiwan’s standing in the digital economy sphere.
The recent strategic moves, including the Grab integration, showcase Circle’s consistent approach to forming partnerships with substantial consumer internet brands and financial entities within the Asian markets. This consistent strategy became evident in June, as Circle aimed to foster collaborations that would transform financial transactions in the APAC region, focusing on using the digital dollar and USDC.