In brief

  • BMW Korea said today it will introduce a blockchain-based rewards app in Korea.
  • Users will be rewarded for purchases and can redeem points for access to luxury events and discounts.
  • The app will eventually be rolled out globally, the carmaker said.

BMW Korea, the Korean branch of German luxury carmaker BMW, will soon launch a blockchain-based rewards program in the country, as per a report by local news outlet Korea Herald Wednesday.

Called “BMW Vantage,” the reward program is BMW Korea’s upcoming membership scheme that would allow customers to collect reward points and use them to pay for products or get discounts on services that the program offers.

As per the report, new and first-time buyers of BMW models could receive 300,000 to 900,000 points per purchase. Those buying used BMW vehicles are also eligible to receive reduced reward points based on the market value of those vehicles, the report added.

BMW owners would soon receive rewards via a blockchain app in Korea. Image: Unsplash

Buyers of BMW’s biggest and newest offerings, such as the new 5 Series or the new 6 Series, can earn up to 900,000 points on their purchase. However, buyers of the existing models, such as the X Series, maybe eligible to receive only up to 600,000 points, the company said.

Users can also earn membership points through the game and other social features on the carmaker’s mobile application, BMW Korea added.

In terms of spending their points, members can get discounts on routine vehicle maintenance and other services provided by BMW’s partner companies. Furthermore, users with a “high-tier membership” could also receive invitations to cultural events organized by the company.

BMW Korea noted that while the Vantage offering will be initially available only in Korea, the program will eventually be launched globally. It added trials are currently ongoing and a hard launch can be expected before the start of 2021.

Such blockchain-based applications have found great adoption in Korea. For example, citizens in its second-most populous city of Busan are already having their digital identities recorded on a public ledger, allowing for seamless and document-free usage for city services like driver’s licenses.

The developments follow the South Korean government big bet big on technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence. Earlier this year, it announced a $400 million government-backed fund to invest in such rising technologies. But the question remains whether any of these applications are truly decentralized, if at all.