“Why can’t credits be as convenient as credit cards?”
This is the question with which TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing startup Richi opened their presentation, kicking off our first ever international Startup Battlefield. Why can my coffee shop points only buy me more coffee? If I don’t have enough loyalty points on one card to make a rewards purchase, why can’t I use some from another bank?
The problem, they say, is a lack of openness — and that’s a problem they aim to solve.
Richi allows the consumer to merge credits from multiple programs (in the future, this will include systems like Facebook credits, airline miles, and credit card points) into one pool, opening up rewards purchases they may not otherwise be able to make. The user simply selects what they want, punches in the credentials for each system, and taps the “buy” button to wrap up the deal. Richi skims a fee (in the form of a few loyalty points, relative to each respective program) off the top of each purchase.
Richi will begin their efforts with a handful of banks in their homeland of Taiwan, hopefully opening up over time first in Beijing and then onward to the rest of the world.