BMW Korea trials a blockchain-powered rewards program ahead of global launch

Customers of the world-famous car manufacturer will soon be able to claim blockchain tokens as rewards as part of a new membership scheme, called BMW Vantage.

The Korea Times reported on Oct. 7 that BMW Korea is the first branch in BMW Group to run a trial of the new scheme and aims to fully launch it in the country by the end of 2020. It successful, the company is planning a global rollout.

The points-based rewards program uses blockchain technology to securely allocate and track tokens for participating customers. First-time buyers of new BMW models could be eligible for 300,000–500,000 points. Buyers of existing vehicles, like the  X1, X2, BMW 1 and 2 series cars, could receive up to 600,000, and those who purchase new BMW 5 or BMW 6 series cars up to 900,000. For BMW repurchases, customers will receive extra points based on the vehicles’ prices.

Buying BMW cars isn’t the only way to earn points. BMW Korea has rolled out an app with gaming and social features, through which users can also earn their dues. Broadly, the purpose of the points-based scheme will be to provide loyal users with discounts on car maintenance and other BMW services. For those with higher-tier membership in the program, the company is promising them invites to cultural events organized by BMW

In recent years, BMW has been using blockchain solutions for both customer-facing and business-to-business operations. As a co-founder of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative, the manufacturer has collaborated with high-profile blockchain developers and tech firms such as Hyperledger, IBM and IOTA.

In March, BMW announced plans to roll out its supply chain solution, PartChain, to 10 suppliers in 2020.

As early as 2018, the car maker was experimenting with a tokenized rewards system to encourage drivers to track mileage on their leased vehicles.