Tune Labs, a venture capital vehicle established by AirAsia founders Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun, has entered into a joint venture with leading Philippines rewards and loyalty program ZAP.
The partnership will see AirAsia BIG, the loyalty program for AirAsia and the Tune group of companies, leverage on ZAP’s platform to allow BIG members to earn and redeem points from daily purchases at physical stores with just a mobile number. It aims to launch in the third quarter of this year with plans of having over 100 partner establishments in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia before expanding to neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. Partners will include restaurants, services, and retail shops in commercial centers.
AirAsia BIG has over 17 million members across the Asia-Pacific region and was recently named Loyalty Programme of the Year at the 2016 Loyalty & Engagement Awards.
“Customer loyalty is a large part of AirAsia’s success. The joint venture is part of our retail strategy and will extend the AirAsia BIG loyalty program enjoyed by our passengers beyond flights to physical stores. ZAP is the tech partner to help AirAsia BIG achieve our goal of having loyal customers earn BIG points and redeem for their flights faster and easier than ever, by rewarding members’ everyday life” said Eddy Leong, CEO of AirAsia BIG.
Today, AirAsia BIG members earn points from AirAsia, Tune Talk, Tune Hotels, and other strategic partners within the travel, e-commerce, lifestyle and retail sectors, including but not limited to Bangkok Bank, CIMB Niaga, Lazada, Paradigm Mall and KLIA2 Gateway. The JV aims to expand AirAsia BIG’s offer to include thousands of physical store locations that its members shop at in different parts of Asia.
Using the ZAP platform and software, AirAsia BIG members would be able to earn BIG Points from partner stores with just their mobile number. BIG Points are very valuable to members as they can be redeemed for flights, with BIG members enjoying priority access to AirAsia sales and an exclusive monthly Final Call Sale with AirAsia flights from only 500 BIG Points.
ZAP’s CEO Dustin Cheng added, “Our goal in ZAP has always been to empower merchants of all sizes with an easy-to-use loyalty and CRM platform. The joint venture allows us to leverage on millions of AirAsia’s customers to fast-track ZAP’s expansion through the region.”
”I have no doubt this joint venture with ZAP will do amazing things for stores that we will be partnering with,” said Leong.
Like Fernandes, Kickstart president Minette Navarrete believes in the partnership fit: “AirAsia and the Tune group of companies are among Southeast Asia’s success stories, with an ethos we truly admire. The ZAP founders have proven their ability to effectively drive customer and revenue growth, and adoption of a technology platform in a high-touch retail environment. They have the high energy and agility to expand across the region; and the joint venture capitalizes on AirAsia BIG’s scale and ZAP’s growth momentum. ZAP founders Dustin Cheng, Terence Lok, Angelique Uy, and Justin Lim, could learn from, and follow in the footsteps of, Tony and Kamarudin.”
ZAP was formed in 2012 as a mobile number-based loyalty program for brick-and-mortar merchants. It is one of 26 digital tech startups funded by Kickstart Ventures, Inc., a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Globe Telecom. Today, ZAP caters to over 300,000 members and works with close to a thousand partner establishments within Metro Manila, Philippines.