Manage Your Loyalty Cards on Your Phone
12cm is an IT solutions company that brings loyalty cards to the mobile environment. It provides a simplified loyalty points collection service by simply stamping the screen of your mobile phone, allowing the relevant app on the phone to collect points. The company recently began to expand into fintech solutions to provide an electronic payment system based on the same technology.
This year, 12cm is targeting the Chinese market, which has a population of 1.4 billion. Through cooperation with WeChat, a China-based global messenger app with 1.1 billion users worldwide, 12cm launched “Yiqi Hanyou(一齐韩游),” which issues mobile discount coupons for Chinese tourists in Korea. Focusing on the fact that Chinese tourists tend to be price sensitive, 12cm plans to lure customers to shop at their partner stores by providing discount coupons for convenience stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.
Bring the offline loyalty card system to the mobile environment
“Seeing how everyone is using smartphones, I thought about services that could be optimized to this environment and decided to bring the offline loyalty card system to the mobile environment.”12cm CEO Han Jeong Gyoun is an expert in financial IT solutions with over a decade of experience in the field. He built his career in finance and IT consulting at HP Korea and decided to set up 12cm in 2013 because he realized the power and potential of the mobile platform, as smart devices, led by 3G phones,became popular.
Han explains, “Thinking that the ‘mobile first’ era would soon begin, I wanted to start a company that specializes in the mobile channel.” Han had previously planned to provide a service similar to echoss Stamp but failed due to the lack of IT environment that could support it. However, the rapid growth of smartphones and the expanded mobile infrastructure became a ray of light.
Capturing people’s attention with convenience and compatibility
12cm’s main solution, echoss Smart Stamp, brought offline loyalty cards to the mobile environment. When a smart stamp, with its multiple touch points, touches the screen of a smartphone, the relevant app automatically collects points. This solution can be paired
with various O2O services and business models.
echoss Stamp doesn’t require a battery, as the stamp recognition process is completed on the capacitive touchscreen. It is currently protected by about 220 patents and is compatible with all smartphones, including iOS and Android devices. echoss Stamp has been attracting attention from O2O businesses, as the solution does not require other infrastructure. Usually, IT solutions that combine online and offline services require integration of offline systems and online solutions or new terminals that need to be installed offline.
echoss Stamp, on the other hand, is based on cloud computing and allows businesses to provide O2O services by simply keeping stamps that are embedded with the stores’ identification at the stores.
echoss Stamp stands out from competing technologies such as QR codes, NFC, and BLE, in terms of security, usability, and compatibility between devices and browsers. It is also extremely simple for users, since all they need to do is touch the stamp to a smartphone screen.
Based on its peerless technology, 12cm is currently collaborating with Samsung, SK Broadband, Paybank, and other innovative Korean companies, as well as Tencent, China’s largest IT company. 12cm’s echoss Stamp technology is embedded in Samsung’s S Wallet and SK Broadband’s Stampbook.
12cm’s efforts have been rewarded through a variety of awards from numerous technology-related competitions and contests. It won the highest prize in technology at the 1st DGB Financial Group Platform and Fintech Competition, top prize at the Smart App Awards 2018, and an Excellence Award from the K-ICT Born2Global Centre Member Awards. It was also named a Digital Media 2018 IT Innovative Financial Product.
Joining hands with WeChat and targeting 1.4 billion Chinese consumers
12cm declared 2018 the year of “Global 12cm” and is currently focusing on overseas advancement. Over the past five years, the company has been able to develop unparalleled technology with commercial possibilities, and now has gained enough confidence to venture out into the larger market. As of now, 12cm provides services through 53 partnerships in 22 countries, including Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the United States, and countries in Europe.
As 12cm continues to grow, K-ICT Born2Global Centre has been working with the company in a range of areas, building distribution channels and securing capital. One of the important ways the Born2Global Centre provided support was through exposure to foreign media, which allowed 12cm to leave a strong impression on world-class global enterprises. In addition, the Centre facilitated 12cm’s participation in exhibitions overseas to enter new markets, providing a foothold for the company to expand overseas.
Currently, 12cm is focusing all its efforts on the abovementioned Yiqi Hanyou, which attracts Chinese tourists in Korea to 12cm’s partner stores through a variety of discount coupons they receive on WeChat, an instant messenger app that has an absolute monopoly in China. Chinese tourists using WeChat on their smartphones can receive coupons without having to download another app.
Yiqi Hanyou has a bright future ahead, considering that China has grown into one of the largest mobile payment markets. Beijing is leading the way to a cashless economy, as people can use mobile payment systems to purchase lamb skewers in food stalls and some beggars even ask for money via QR codes. This means that Chinese tourists already used to making mobile payments can visit 12cm’s partner stores with Yiqi Hanyou and purchase products using WeChat Pay.
Han remarks, “Instead of stopping at simple loyalty marketing, vouchers, and promotional services, we hope to open a new chapter for our company by providing a variety of fintech and data-related services.”