Emaar. Referral & Loyalty Platform.

Growing user engagement in a digital-native, mobile-first generation

Overview

Emaar has been a pioneer of master-planned communities in Dubai since its inception in 1997. Their portfolio encompasses developing renowned hospitality & leisure projects, premium shopping malls & Retail assets, Master-Planned Communities and iconic Real-Estate assets. Emaar wanted to engage its customer base across the whole Emaar group of businesses in a fun and initiative way. We partnered with Lykke Business, a leading Swiss-based financial consulting company, to help Emaar build an appropriate tokenization model and platform to create an engaging experience through the group. 

For this purpose, a digital token was created as a means of payment, facilitating all internal transactions in real-time. The Emaar community token allows Emaar’s customers and stakeholders to reap the value of a complete referral and loyalty system across the entire group, opening the Emaar experience potentially to billions of internet users. Through the EMR token, users can enjoy all the benefits offered by the current loyalty schemes and get an actual monetary value by sending the token to external exchange

Challenges

Emaar had several existing loyalty schemes offered by different business units, but the team could not successfully execute cross-business integration, thus offering reduced benefits to end users. 
 
In addition, none of their existing programs could connect to and drive the core property business, which comprises 75-80% of the whole group. There was also no interchangeability of reward points within the joint scope of services. 
 
Partnership deals could extend the existing programs. However, this would require laborious and time-consuming agreements and tech integration, leaving consumers confused. Instead, with many competitor schemes competing for consumer attention, Emaar needed to break through the noise and achieve a global impact that matched their ambitions.
 
The pioneer of master-planned communities wanted to get involved in the Blockchain industry and create its digital asset to serve a common referral and loyalty system for the whole group, offering a seamless experience and payment combined with a captivating set of rewards that lead to acquiring and retaining customers. The digital asset had to include loyalty and payment providers aspects and be transferable between multiple ecosystem services.

Solution

Together with Lykke Business, we first outlined and discussed with Emaar what application functionalities can be achieved, what is best to start and what to continue with. The final solution we proposed and developed to increase cross-selling opportunities across all of Emaar's businesses and create global brand awareness was a loyalty and referral program utilising a community Token built on JP Morgan’s Quorum private blockchain fork of the Ethereum Blockchain. We also developed a cutting-edge mobile application using Google’s Flutter framework.

The Community Token was designed to be offered as a reward for recurring purchases & referrals and to be transferable and tradable in the Emaar ecosystem.
  • The user can refer people to purchase real-estate properties or invite them to stay at Emaar’s hotels and get awarded tokens. Users are awarded based on referrals to particular Emaar services, such as staying at a hotel.
  • For the referral, we provided users with both the option to invite people to install the application and the opportunity to refer people for a specific service or product.
  • For the hospitality business, we have allowed users to invite people to stay at Emaar’s hotels and get awarded tokens for the referral based on the cost of the stay and their consumption at the hotel.
  • For the property business, users can refer people to purchase real estate properties. When the user refers someone to buy a property, the new potential lead receives an SMS and first needs to accept the referral to move forward. If the referral is accepted, the lead will be automatically validated in the Real Estate Database and connected to a sales agent from Emaar’s side that will work on following up on the transaction with the lead to finalize the sale. Upon the conclusion of a preliminary contract, both the referral and the referrer will receive some EMR tokens and will be further rewarded with such against each instalment made. In addition, we enabled users to pay their monthly property instalments with EMR tokens.
Usually, in loyalty programs, the point holders are not allowed to transfer them to other people. We allowed EMR tokens to be transferred from one wallet to another wallet in the Emaar ecosystem or from the user’s wallet in the EMR blockchain to the user’s wallet in the public blockchain after he proves the ownership of this wallet. Transactions are instantly settled and cleared, solving critical problems for the company related to overseas payments.

In addition, we also added value to the EMR token by allowing users to use it for payment or exchange it for other tokens or cash on exchanges. The redemption value is set by the EMAAR entity the user is redeeming his EMR tokens against. To achieve this, close integration with all Emaar systems was required. 

Results

  • Established a cutting-edge tokenized ecosystem
  • Reduced cost-generating frictions
  • Increased customer base and united Emaar businesses
  • Increased cross-sales and drove revenues up by incentivizing customer behaviour across the Group
  • Ability to transfer EMR tokens to anyone in real-time and exchange them for other tokens or cash
  • Traceability of customers’ transactions and purchasing behaviour

Quick Facts

Duration: 9 months

Technology Stack: .NET Core 2.2, Angular, Azure, Ethereum, J.P. Morgan’s Quorum, SQL Server, Azure Tables, RabbitMQ, Microservices, Docker, Kubernetes

Team: 5 QAs, 25 Devs, 4 Team Leads, 1 Software Architect, 1 Product Owner, 2 Business Analysts, 3 UX/UI Designers

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