eReceipts and Universal Digital Coupons Apps Launch

Sparkle, a provider of managed iPaaS (integration platform as a service) multipatented technology, has teamed with with Omaha, Neb.-based Retail Data Systems (RDS), the largest reseller and support company of point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software in North America, and Richardson, Texas-based Hedera Hashgraph, the most used sustainable enterprise-grade public ledger, to launch digital eReceipts and Universal Digital Coupons apps. This collaboration will enable Sparkle to deploy both applications at scale across legacy POS networks via RDS throughout North America. 

“By partnering with RDS and leveraging the Hedera network and services, we aim to enable retailers of all sizes to reap the benefits of digital solutions,” said Judd Ferrer, founder of Harrow, England-based Sparkle. “The launch of these apps will represent a major step in the mass adoption of blockchain technology among consumers and retailers.”

Added Adam Doran, Sparkle’s chief commercial officer: “Without the need for costly and lengthy integrations, which can be as much as $1 million and 12 months or longer, we are empowering retailers to quickly and cost-effectively adopt a digital-first strategy through our managed iPaaS platform, and the APIs [application programming interfaces] we have connected with to date, which, in turn, will greatly benefit their end customers.” 

RDS will oversee the apps’ rollout to thousands of grocery retailers across North America. eReceipts and Universal Digital Coupons are the first of several apps that will be available to retailers via the forthcoming RDS App Store. Sparkle will use the Hedera Consensus Service to store and verify eReceipts, ensuring that data on real-time transactions is securely logged and verified. 

Universal Digital Coupons, the new industry-standard coupon format from The Coupon Bureau (TCB),  based in Fort Worth, Texas, removes the time and hassle of coupon handling, in-store fraud (valued annually at more than $100 million), and improving cash flow from quicker clearing and settlement.  Adopting this app also means that retailers can better compete with larger rivals. 

The newly introduced apps will make digital eReceipts and Universal Digital Coupons widely available to legacy POS systems using Sparkle’s real-time connection of API, without the extensive time and cost of POS integration. Using the app and Sparkle’s digital APIs, POS systems can apply the data directly to the real-time transactional data, helping retailers reduce fraud and returns.

Already, Cielo Supermarket, an independent grocery store in Antioch, Calif., has adopted Sparkle’s digital eReceipt app and other digital API integration services to allow the retailer to accommodate evolving consumer behavior, while Elden’s Fresh Foods, an Alexandria, Minn., independent, is enabling Universal Digital Coupons across its store.

“This is going to make redemption of coupons and coupons available to my customers for savings so much easier, so much cleaner,” said Elden’s owner, Elliot Christensen. “I see where the manufacturer can have a direct line to the consumer, and they can come into Elden’s and enjoy the savings. We think of them seeing the coupons and redeeming the coupons here  it’s going to be awesome!”

Although these are both stand-alone applications, RDS is enthusiastic about combining the two, as RDS Minnesota’s Dwayne Van Wye explained: “eReceipts provides core functionality to retailers and their customers but, in effect, is another valuable direct-communication channel.  If a retailer already has the 8112 app in place, offers from leading CPG’s who are behind this industry transformation, such as P&G and General Mills, or even the retailer themselves, could be sent directly to the consumer.”

“By working with the team at Sparkle, we are showing how distributed-ledger technology can be utilized for the benefit of retailers, consumers and technology providers alike,” said Christian Hasker, CMO of Hedera Hashgraph. “By working with our retail users in this way, we will be able to ensure efficiency and security throughout the retail ecosystem.”