ING has acquired the Belgian digital loyalty platform Qustomer as it looks to further its mobile payments strategy by working with smart startups.
With Qustomer, users can collect and redeem loyalty points from shops and other retail outlets using a physical card with QR code technology or via the Qustomer application on their smartphone.
Founded in 2012, Qustomer has more than 800,000 users in Belgium already using the card with over 1000 retailers equipped with its tablet-based POS device throughout the country.
Rik Vandenberghe, CEO ING Belgium comments: “The transaction is part of ING’s strategic priority to increase the pace of innovation to serve changing customer needs by working with both dedicated internal teams and with outside partners and startups.”
ING in Holland launched Innovation Studio, a corporate accelerator open to external startups in July. The Studio has since reviewed pitches from 68 startups from across Europe and selected three to work alongside three internal ING teams selected via an internal innovation contest on a six-month programme to develop a commercially viable prototype.
The three winners were money transfer comparison service Moneytis, online donation platform Whydonate and Checkmetrix, which provides data analytics for small retailers.