Finally, a blockchain use case that rewards loyal customers and improves retail partnerships. Singapore airlines are set to launch a loyalty scheme that rewards frequent flyers with points which can be spent at retail partners. The blockchain based project would help expand the airline’s retail front.

The welcome announcement was made on Monday as an update to the KrisFlyer frequent flyer programme. In the new update to the program, the already existing digital wallet, that is available on mobile devices, would now be run on blockchain technology. Customers can expect the new scheme to become functional within the next six months. There would be a mobile app which would serve two functions. As a digital wallet to store their accumulated points won from buying flight tickets and as a platform to access SIA’s services.

Members of the KrisFlyer frequent flier program would be able to “use digital KrisFlyer miles for point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants.”

Deploying the program with distributed ledger technology makes it easier to track and release users’ point wins and spending, and help the airline’s retail outfits thrive. It’s a well-known fact that businesses with such loyalty programs enjoy a virtuous cycle of increase in customers and increase in customer spending.

Before now, the blockchain-based project had been tested in a proof-of-concept exercise with KPMG Digital Village in collaboration with Microsoft. The blockchain would be a private one with only merchants and partners having access.

Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines CEO said: “We are very excited about this world-first initiative, which will bring even more benefits to members of our KrisFlyer programme. This groundbreaking development in which we will be using blockchain technology to ‘digitalize’ KrisFlyer miles is a demonstration of the investment we are making to significantly enhance the digital side of our business for the benefit of our customers.”

Although SIA is the first to take a customer loyalty programme in the airline industry on blockchain, it is not the first to adopt the technology in the industry. Some other companies are looking to leverage on the several use cases available. For instance, TUI, a holiday operator intends to make hotel bookings more efficient using the blockchain. While Air France wants to monitor its supply chain using blockchain.