Swiss Loyalty Ecosystem qiibee Announces Partnership with Italian Retail Association Confimprese

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qiibee, the Swiss loyalty token protocol which helps brands around the world run their loyalty programs on the blockchain, has announced a partnership with Italian Retail Association Confimprese.  

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This strategic partnership allows qiibee to harness the power of Confimprese’s extensive relationships with some of the world’s most renowned brands across the homeware, electronics, entertainment, clothing, F&B, and health and wellness sectors.


Confimprese’s members include fast food giant KFC, coffee maker Lavazza, and the largest publishing house in Italy, Mondadori. Disney, Pandora, and petrol station network, Agip, which has more than 6,000 points of sale in Italy, are also listed among its customer base.

Founded in 1999, Confimprese aims to protect the interests of companies within the association by supporting their development both in Italy and abroad. Today, the Italian Retail Association represents more than 300 commercial brands, 30,000 points of sale, 600,000 operators, and its member companies account for 16% of total retail turnover.  

“Having worked in the retail industry for more than 20 years, I have witnessed industry challenges, opportunities, and trends that go hand-in-hand with running a business. What qiibee are doing is revolutionary, and I am convinced that this is the type of development that is necessary for the next generation of retail companies in Italy to evolve,” said Mario Resca, President of Confimprese.

“Loyalty programs today have a call-to-action issue as most customers are only compelled to think about loyalty points at the point of purchase. With qiibee, the customer journey is turned on its head as loyalty points remain at the forefront of customers’ minds, driving them to make purchases and propelling them to be advocates of the loyalty ecosystem. Repeat custom is the basis of traditional loyalty programs, however this often results in customers waiting a significant length of time to claim a free coffee for example. With qiibee, customers are presented with a greater variety of reward options, including the ability to exchange their loyalty points for cryptocurrency or fiat, which could potentially rise in value,” he continued.

qiibee’s services have already been offered to Confimprese’s 300 members, with negotiations ongoing.

Co-founder and CEO of qiibee, Gabriele Giancola, said qiibee’s protocol not only enhances security by using blockchain technology, but also allows customers to earn real value by enabling them to sell their loyalty tokens for other cryptocurrencies or fiat.

“Within the qiibee ecosystem, customers will always have full control of, and transparency about, their loyalty programs and tokens. We want to offer Confimprese and its member brands the possibility of engaging with blockchain technology without the need for cost-intensive integration for brands or an upfront investment for customers,” Giancola concluded.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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