In the Caribbean, GraceKennedy has recently announced the Jamaica-wide launch of its new coalition loyalty programme - GraceKennedy Value Rewards (GKVR) - which runs on technology from loyalty services provider Reward Paths. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

GraceKennedy Value Rewards is a free loyalty programme through which members earn points and other benefits based on qualified levels of spending at five different GraceKennedy subsidiaries, including Hi-Lo (supermarket), First Global Bank, Bill Express (bill payment service), Fx Trader (currency exchange) and JIIC (diversified insurance services).

The ability to accumulate points rapidly by doing business with each of these GraceKennedy business units provides the Jamaican consumer with a tangible advantage over other loyalty programmes in the market. Points can be easily converted on-line or via mobile phone to rewards provided by both external partners throughout the island and several of the GraceKennedy brands.

According to David Harwood, CEO for Reward Paths, the "GraceKennedy Value Rewards project was a unique challenge from a multi-business unit perspective. Given different transactional systems in place at the different subsidiaries and the unique characteristics of five different business models, we had to make things very flexible while staying simple. Everything from web to mobile to social media to point-of-sale and call centre applications had to be tightly integrated. The launch went smoothly and our clients, their external reward partners and their best customers are excited about the new programme."

In order to launch GKVR, GraceKennedy needed an affordable, state of the art technology platform to support the new programme structure and to provide members a good customer experience. After an extensive search, GraceKennedy selected Reward Paths to provide the loyalty management system for Value Rewards.

Reward Paths (and its New Zealand parent company Incentive Solutions) have now enabled multi-merchant loyalty coalitions in New Zealand, Australia and Jamaica. The cloud-based loyalty management platform also enables proprietary consumer programmes in the US and Canada in addition to both consumer and business-to-business programmes in New Zealand and Australia.

The Reward Paths platform handles all transactional information between the participating business units and the "rules" engine - which scores points, enables benefits, facilitates redemptions and supports all social, mobile and member care requirements. The underlying database provides clients with a diverse set of operational, financial and marketing reports accessible by the client. Additionally, all members of the programme can access their own loyalty accounts, check their points, redeem for rewards and change their personal preferences via the same systems.