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‘Cryptoback’: 2021 could see a major change to cashback

Anastasia Santoreneos
·3-min read
Main holds coins in his hands.
‘Cryptoback’: 2021 could see a major change to cashback. Source: Getty

Cashback rewards are a relatively new phenomenon in Australia, with major players like Shopback and Kickback offering Aussie shoppers cash in return for purchasing via their platform.

But as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin hit the mainstream, 2021 could see a major change to these platforms, CBInsights revealed in its 2021 tech trends report.

Instead of offering cash back, these platforms might start offering crypto-based rewards.

“Retailers and payments companies are looking to cash in by rolling out rewards and loyalty programs using blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as an alternative to traditional points or cash-based systems,” the report stated.

For shoppers, it could mean that they actually end up making more money, because the value of these crypto-assets fluctuates.

Some startups and tech companies have already begun offering crypto rewards for purchases, and they don’t even require that a user actually spend cryptocurrencies in their day-to-day life.

For example, shopper rewards platform Lolli offers customers Bitcoin back for purchasers. Around 40 per cent of their customers in 2019 were new to Bitcoin.

But it’s not just crypto-back products that could gain traction this year. We could also see debit and credit cards that provide crypto rewards instead of points, for purchases made using the card.

What other tech trends could we see in 2021?

Exclusive apps

Launched in 2020, Clubhouse is an invite-only social media app that’s now worth around US$1 billion.

But we can expect to see more exclusive apps like this.

“In 2021, watch for social networks building value through the quality and strength of their connections — as well as through the appeal of exclusivity — rather than the network effects of scale,” the report stated.

“Entrepreneurs could use everything from crypto tokens to subscription tech to build community-based businesses that deploy algorithms and marketing tech to vet entrants. The idea is less to get people to join and more to keep people out.”

This type of app could extend to the dating world too. In fact, it already has.

The League is an invite-only dating app for “successful professionals with degrees from prestigious universities,” while Raya is for “people in creative industries” or celebrities.

The hotel-office

Workers in Australia are only just beginning to return to the office, while many in the US and the UK won’t see an office for months.

But either way, what they see when they get back will be vastly different to what they were used to.

“Expect to see offices becoming increasingly like hotels used for short visits, and less like the cushy big tech “campuses” that came into fashion in the pre-Covid era,” the report stated.

“To space people out, desk areas may become less personalised...Rather than having their own cubicles or offices, workers may only come into the physical office a couple times a week, after booking work spaces in advance.”

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