DUNDEE, Scotland, December 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Barrhead Travel, Scotland's leading travel agency, today announced the launch of a next generation rewards smartcard, based on sQuid's world-leading technology - the first of its kind in the UK travel industry. The card will offer a 5% cashback reward for any travel booking made, with additional discounts offered to existing sQuid account holders.
With 32 stores across Scotland, the scheme will initially be piloted in Barrhead Travel's Dundee store with a view to rolling it out across other branches in the near future.
The contactless smartcard-based scheme will be operated by sQuid, the digital payments network, which already provides a number of smartcard services in Dundee, working with the National Entitlement Card (NEC), local retailers, colleges, schools and very soon with National Express Dundee.
Loyalty cards cost £5, but give back £10 to the customer's loyalty purse once registered online with sQuid. Cardholders are then rewarded with 5% of the booking value of all overseas holidays, which is credited to the customer's card loyalty purse and can be redeemed against future bookings.
Mark Brock, Director, Barrhead Travel, said, "Despite difficult economic conditions, our business continues to enjoy success, thanks to the great products and services we provide to our customers. Our innovative smartcard-based rewards programme is another way of giving a little extra back, while acknowledging and maintaining a great relationship with our clients. sQuid's excellent product is a great fit for our business."
Adam Smith, sQuid CEO, added, "Loyalty and rewards schemes are now a vital part of creating competitive advantage in retail and we are delighted to be working with Scotland's number 1 travel agency to prove that sQuid is not only the UK's leading next generation payments system, but a great rewards platform too."
sQuid was founded in 2005 by Nucleus, the brand and innovations company, which remains a major shareholder in sQuid's parent, Smart Transactions Group. sQuid's disruptive low cost pre-pay model enables contactless transactions in retail, digital and virtual commerce, bypassing expensive bank and credit card networks, with its own FSA-compliant eMoney platform, featuring bank-grade security. The company was recently awarded the Best Practices and Market Penetration Leadership Award in Smartcards by Frost & Sullivan (May 2011) and is processing more than a million transactions per month.
sQuid's potential as a platform for smart rewards and loyalty programmes is now gaining traction in UK retail.
About Barrhead Travel
Founded in 1975 by an ex-bank worker, Bill Munro, and operating from an unremarkable shop in the south Glasgow suburb of Barrhead with just 4 staff, 36 years later, Barrhead Travel has mushroomed into a multi-faceted travel giant with over 500 staff in 32 stores - and is one of the largest and most successful travel agencies in the UK.
In 2002, Barrhead Travel opened the first city centre travel superstore in the UK, right in the heart of Glasgow. One of the largest travel agencies in Europe, it was also the first "experience" store in Scotland.
Barrhead Travel has expanded from a traditional 'bucket and spade' travel agent to a multi-faceted travel group chartering its own flights, offering bespoke holidays to all corners of the globe, running an in-house training facility with specialist consultants providing expert advice in areas such as long haul, cruise and ski holidays and promoting youth employment through its apprenticeship scheme.
The group also operates a range of online brands including the US based Flightsdirect.com and niche travel website cruisedirect.co.uk.
The company has won many awards over the years, including Top UK Travel Agency for 3 years in a row and Best Travel Agency in Scotland for 11 years running.
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