If you’re looking to start a coalition loyalty program, one of the first hurdles that you’ll inevitably run into is integrating a loyalty program with all of the various POS systems run by participating merchants.

Because a coalition loyalty program brings together different types of businesses, there are a variety of transactional processes. Synthesizing these is a coalition loyalty program’s biggest challenge. Table service restaurants, for instance, have a different process than counter service retail stores. And beyond that, businesses also use different software products.

From ShopKeep to Revel to customized solutions, each business has a system – and every business community has an abundance of POS systems in play.

That means that, when it comes to implementing a community loyalty program, there are two possible options. You can choose to integrate your loyalty program with every POS system, which means investing in software that can be synched with each POS system to access customer transaction data. Or, you can choose a loyalty program that is POS independent.

The Pros and Cons of POS Integration

Choosing to integrate your loyalty program has one obvious benefit: purchase tracking.

For instance, if you’d like to encourage loyalty by offering rewards for spend amounts (ex: spend $100 over the course of a month, get $5 off your next purchase), integrating a loyalty program with your POS is the most seamless option.

The drawback, of course, is that integration is far from easy. Single businesses may be able to find plug-and-play software that will integrate with their POS, but for coalition programs, more is needed. The cost of developing software capable of synching with multiple POS systems is high, and the cost of maintaining that software to keep up with every POS system update is even higher.

Because of that, nearly all coalition loyalty programs are POS independent. Often, these take the form of punch cards, primarily tracking purchase frequency as opposed to spend amount.

LoyalTap’s Approach to POS Integration

At LoyalTap, we believe that community loyalty should be affordable for every community, which has led us to be POS independent. We also recognize, though, that for some merchants, purchase tracking is a must-have to create a truly rewarding loyalty program.

Because of that, we’ve designed LoyalTap apps to track purchases without POS integration. In the Merchant Panel, merchants have the ability to manually enter a spend amount every time a customer participates in the program. This approach works best for retailers who have slightly slower counter service speeds.

It Gets Better

Manual purchase data entry is a great solution for purchase tracking for certain merchants, but we want every merchant to be able to have this ability easily. That’s why, this fall, we’re excited to introduce LoyalTap V3. With V3, we’ll be adding the ability for merchants to track purchases as easily as possible using receipt scanning technology. Customers will be able to scan their receipts to record their participation in a loyalty program, allowing merchants to track spend amounts without the need for manual entry.

This approach will allow LoyalTap to remain POS independent while offering purchase tracking at a price that communities can afford.

Get in touch with us to sign up for V3. We can’t wait to bring affordable purchase tracking to business communities like yours.