TAIWAN, October 26, 2023 — A thriving convenience store loyalty programs or ‘loyalty points economy’ has evolved into a cornerstone of daily life in Taiwan. Circle Internet Financial (Circle), a global fintech company, has forged a strategic partnership with BitoGroup, Taiwan’s cryptocurrency market leader, and Taiwan FamilyMart, the nation’s second-largest convenience store chain, to expand the utility of loyalty points, enhance their value and lower the barrier of engaging in the digital economy for the Taiwanese market.
The partnership is delivering a new ‘Points-to-Crypto’ service on the Taiwan FamilyMart App and the BitoPro Exchange, which allows customers to convert their FamilyMart loyalty points, called FamiPoints, into digital currencies like USDC. Customers can indicate the amount of FamiPoints they would like to convert to their desired digital currency on the Taiwan FamilyMart App, and include their BitoPro account details to receive them.
Converting FamiPoints into USDC prevents a loss of value in loyalty points over time and incurs zero transaction fees, democratizing access to cryptocurrencies.
Strengthening the Loyalty Points Economy
Taiwan boasts one of the world’s highest densities of convenience stores, and the significance of loyalty points in these establishments are undeniable. According to the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) in Taiwan, "Points Accumulation and Redemption" ranked as the most pragmatic feature among four major retail app functions in their 2021 consumer behavior survey. A separate Mobile Payment Consumer Survey report by MIC in 2021 also showed that 87% of users engage in points accumulation, with an overwhelming 99% of them utilizing points often for product redemptions." This underscores the integral role of loyalty points in the daily lives of the Taiwanese, and highlights the consumption potential embedded within the loyalty points economy.
“Circle is excited to partner with BitoGroup and Taiwan FamilyMart to champion access to digital currencies in Taiwan, “ said Raagulan Pathy, Vice President of Asia Pacific for Circle. “With the introduction of USDC in the enhanced ‘Points-to-Crypto’ service, we aim to empower the Taiwanese community to participate in the digital economy seamlessly and support Taiwan’s stance in embracing digital fintech innovations.”
Titan Cheng, the founder and CEO of BitoGroup, reaffirms the organization’s commitment to facilitate the transition from Web2 to Web3 for both businesses and the general public. Cheng underscores, "The enhanced iteration of the Points-to-Crypto service on the BitoPro Exchange introduces unprecedented flexibility, versatility and empowerment through loyalty points conversion. Through our strategic collaboration with Circle and FamilyMart, we aspire to expand the USDC ecosystem and build a robust Web3 infrastructure in Taiwan.”
With a membership base nearing 800,000 and a commanding market share of close to 90% in Taiwan, BitoGroup operates an array of services including BitoPro (a cryptocurrency exchange), BELS (an NFT empowerment platform), and O2 META (a metaverse-focused social media platform).
Donghao Liu, Director of Digital Finance Department, Taiwan FamilyMart emphasized that this enhanced service solidifies Taiwan FamilyMart’s commitment to offering the maximum convenience to its members. Taiwan FamilyMart's FamiPoints have attracted over 17 million members nationwide due to their simplicity in accumulation, redemption and conversion. Liu stated, "We are dedicated to further enhancing the value of FamiPoints for our members by continually offering more diverse and convenient avenues for loyalty point utilization. The enhanced service not only introduces a wider range of virtual currencies that FamiPoints can be exchanged for in just two simple steps, but also promises to positively impact the loyalty points economy in Taiwan."
Establishing Taiwan as a Leading Web3 Gateway in Asia
Since 2014, Taiwan FamilyMart and BitoGroup’s pioneering service allowed customers to purchase Bitcoin at convenience store locations across the nation, setting a global record for the most extensive physical network for cryptocurrency purchases. This partnership between Circle, BitoGroup and FamilyMart not only marks a transition from physical convenience store locations to seamless online experiences, but is also another significant milestone in supporting access to innovative financial tools and solidifying Taiwan’s position as a leader in the digital economy.