Tender Retail | January 18, 2022
Tender Retail, a leader in middleware payment solutions for enterprise retail and quick-service restaurant chains, and Blackhawk Network, a global financial technology company, announced a new commercial relationship to help retailers expand their in-store payment options as well as modernize promotional offers and discounts, while streamlining in-store operations and lowering the cost of payment acceptance.
The expanded agreement with Blackhawk Network enables Tender Retail to diversify its existing features and payment options for merchants looking for ways to provide better buying experiences and reach untapped spending power. The two market leaders will combine their expertise to develop solutions around features like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and integrate alternative payment methods, such as digital wallets from global providers.
Tender Retail has partnered with Blackhawk Network since 2006, delivering prepaid gift card payment integration to enterprise merchants. “We are very excited to strengthen our relationship with Blackhawk to continue to develop enhanced payment options and meet the diverse and rapidly changing demands of consumers,”
- Greg Whitnell, Executive Vice President of Tender Retail.
Receiving discounts, deals, and rewards is a key driver of loyalty and motivation for shoppers, regardless of the brand or channel. Blackhawk Network brings decades of experience in executing solutions for retailers and companies of consumer product goods. The pre-integrated solutions can help enterprise merchants track engagement to redemption end-to-end, target specific or a group of products, facilitate faster reconciliation and settlement, as well as reduce negative top-line revenue impact generated by discounts such as coupons.
"As the customer loyalty and retail landscapes adapt to support global consumers in an omnichannel environment, we are proud to be leading the charge of this innovation alongside Tender Retail, We look forward to collaborating to bring new solutions to our network of partners to further shift the retail payments landscape."
-Cory Gaines, CPO, Blackhawk Network.
About Tender Retail
The Tender Retail payment solution is currently embedded into over 100 leading POS solutions and hundreds of thousands of merchant locations throughout North America, including Fortune 500 companies. With direct to bank processing with major North American payment processors, its flexible and semi-integrated payment solution allows enterprise merchants to choose the PIN Pad of their choice and the payment processor they want to work with.
About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network delivers branded payment solutions through prepaid products, technologies, and networks that connect brands and people. We collaborate with our partners to innovate, translating market trends in branded payments to increase reach, loyalty, and revenue. We reliably execute security-minded solutions worldwide.
Round Table Pizza | February 03, 2022
Sparkfly, an award-winning retail technology solutions company that helps innovative restaurants and merchants unify customer engagement technologies, announced today they have been selected by Round Table Pizza to lead their digital modernization initiative, which includes the development of exciting new guest ordering technologies and personalized customer engagement programs. Round Table Pizza kicked off their initiative by leveraging Sparkfly’s newly-launched consulting program that evaluated the brand’s existing and new technologies, and created a next generation martech ecosystem to effectively drive transformational customer acquisition. The quick-service brand and its franchisees operate more than 450 locations across California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii, and is a part of FAT Brands, a leading restaurant franchising company that currently operates a portfolio of 17 restaurant brands around the globe.
Sparkfly’s platform will be the foundation for a customer engagement ecosystem that unifies Round Table Pizza’s point-of-sale (POS) system, new web and mobile app ordering technologies, loyalty and reward capabilities, and all third-party marketplace apps to deliver a seamless experience for customers. Upon completion of the integration, the brand’s online and in-store POS transactions, will offer reward program members and diners an enhanced digital customer experience that operates across all channels.
The addition of a digital wallet to the brand’s mobile app will streamline the flow of transactional data, enabling the delivery of real-time personalized rewards in collaboration with their marketing and service cloud platforms.
“It’s an incredible honor to have been selected by such a reputable brand as Round Table Pizza to help them on their mission to further enhance their customer experience and engagement strategies, Ability to offer a modern reward and loyalty program, and deliver a seamless online ordering experience is critical for restaurant brands today. We are excited to be a part of this journey to further enable franchise owners to better connect with their customers and drive more revenue.”
-Sparkfly Founder and CEO Catherine Tabor.
About Round Table Pizza
Inspired by the honor, valor and revelry of the Knights of the Round Table, Round Table Pizza’s superior pizza and commitment to quality and authenticity have earned the reputation of “Pizza Royalty™” for over 60 years. With more than 450 restaurants across the globe, Round Table celebrates community, family and making merry.
HODL Assets, Inc. | March 03, 2022
Web 3.0 Social is becoming the hottest, simplest, and most intuitive concept for selling NFTs to fund projects, monetize content, and validate ownership of both digital and real-world assets. This new, decentralized digital technology eliminates the obstacles that slow down and complicate the process. And GalaxE by HODL, which will be globally launched following an initial Soft Launch to a select number of invitees who will provide informative feedback on the platform, is offering the First Metaverse Hub for NFTs, Social Networking, Gaming, and Entertainment, where all these activities and more can be simply and efficiently coordinated from the creator/seller's own all-in-one social NFT page.
In contrast, the current (Web 2.0) NFT ecosystem's largest platform, OpenSea, exhibits multiple flaws that negatively impact the user's ability to make the most of the current NFT market. These problems include the lack of embedded social media, the platform's default tendency to inherit Ethereum's existing issues, elitism as a barrier to access, security issues inherent in the platform, and an unnecessarily complex NFT buying and selling process. To drive engagement and increase participation, these are issues that need to be addressed.
NFTs and Web 3.0 Social
GalaxE by HODL, by combining NFTs with the best features of Web3 Social Media, offers the most comprehensive tech integration, easily solving these issues. The GalaxE NFT Social platform uses Rabet for full Web3 integration and Metamask for quick, easy login to all connected social media accounts, providing an exciting new way for NFT creators to place all metaverse activities right at their fingertips.
One innovative example of game-changing Web3 NFT strategies for collectors — one area where GalaxE is very active — is tying NFTs to unique physical assets that increase in value over time, letting them serve as a certificate of authenticity. Once the item's original value has been authenticated through an NFT, the buyer can safely make the purchase, confident of getting the genuine article.
Another example, for musicians — one that holds the promise of major changes to the music industry — is selling NFTs to the artist's social media followers as a way of funding an album project. By offering their fans such valuable items as album art, a Zoom (or live) meet and greet, and a share in a percentage of the royalties earned on the album's sales, independent musicians or bands can encourage their fans to fulfill the role of their "record label."
Web 3.0 creates a more advanced ecosystem that drives engagement by moving away from advertising and toward the use of native platform tokens to monetize social media, vastly improving the user experience. This is why GalaxE is far more advanced than current social networks like Instagram, Tik Tok, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook (currently in the middle of rebranding as Meta), all of which still operate under the centralized Web 2.0 model that views the user as a commodity.
With the value of NFTs steadily rising, as evidenced by an increase in NFT trading volume — from $85.7M to $19.6B between 2020 and 2021 — and the metaverse market expected to potentially approach $800 billion by 2024, there appears to be virtually no limit to the economic possibilities the new model has to offer.
The Metaverse and Augmented Reality (AR)
The metaverse is a concept that has captured the imaginations of people across industries, demographics, online communities, and the physical world. While the term sounds universal, "the metaverse" isn't actually one massive universe but, rather, the convergence of many separate universes. A more accurate description of the metaverse that has been offered is that it is "a vast network of 3D worlds and simulations rendered in real-time for cooperation and participation." Thus, there are actually many metaverses, and as technology evolves, there will be many more.
There will be metaverses like the one Facebook (Meta) is developing with its Oculus headsets and existing online ecosystem, or Nvidia with its plans for Omniverse Enterprise, and Microsoft with its work-focused digital environment known as Mesh, to name but a few. These are just three among well over 12 dozen metaverse-building companies that each have something to contribute to the collaborative effort to build the space.
"Building it will be no different than building another city or town, another country, or another world, with its needed infrastructure and all its separate yet intersecting parts, Massive and complex undertakings like these take time. They happen gradually, through the efforts, innovations, and hard work of multiple entities, with each one making contributions based on their own individual talents and areas of expertise."
-HODL COO Jenny Q. Ta
Many companies' offerings — like Meta's — are based on a virtual reality (VR) model, a model that is already popular in gaming. Yet, the more natural implementation — and the one that HODL Assets' GalaxE platform is primarily focused on — is one that's built around augmented reality (AR), a model that more organically integrates the real and virtual worlds. Augmented reality is where the metaverse is heading, as AR is perceived by the user to be far more real than virtual reality, which the user is always aware of existing outside of and separate from. And AR will feel even more real as the technology advances.
Play-To-Earn Crypto Games & Social Tokens
Play-to-earn (P2E) crypto games are capturing the minds of an entirely new class of crypto users, attracting people who would normally not be interacting in this sector of the economic realm by giving them the ability to own and transfer in-game assets via the blockchain, through NFTs. This new economic model, which is based on crypto tokens (aka social tokens), signals the advent of next gen play-to-earn gaming (sometimes called P2E 2.0).
HODL is pleased to be partnering with its first few game developers to help them launch three AR games, with its first teasers promised soon. By getting in on the ground floor of the growing next gen play-to-earn boom, HODL Assets is poised to help shape the future of the space. And with their own native $HODL token and built-in social network, they have the infrastructure and in-app currency that they need already in the works.
Wrapped Tokens & GalaxE's Cross-Chain Bridge
A wrapped crypto token is a modified version of a token, such as Bitcoin, that's equal in value to the original token but can be used on another cryptocurrency platform (e.g., Ethereum). In creating a wrapped token, the original asset is "wrapped" into a digital vault and a new token is minted to take its place. For example, Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) is an ERC-20 token that represents Bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain. This one-to-one conversion makes it possible for Bitcoin holders to participate in decentralized finance (DeFi) apps that are popular on Ethereum. This is good as far as it goes. However, GalaxE by HODL takes this idea even further.
Enter GalaxE's Cross-Chain Bridge, which will be a key feature of the platform's design. Thus, the GalaxE ecosystem will facilitate cross-chain interoperability between multiple relatively independent blockchains, allowing them to communicate with one another as they are all based on a standardized protocol. This is possible because the wrapped $HODL token (wHODL) — unlike the wBTC or wETH ERC-20 tokens — will be built on each of GalaxE's supported blockchains: Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, Fantom, and Binance Smart Chain. WHODL will only be offered on liquidity providers like Uniswap and PancakeSwap and will effectively build a bridge between its supported networks, bringing expanded interoperability into the cryptocurrency space.
Since GalaxE will also soon be launching its own blockchain — complete with smart contracts, similar to Solana, Cardano, or Ethereum — they are definitely the company to watch. The GalaxE blockchain is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2022.
"Not only has minting, selling, buying, and collecting NFTs never been this easy, but as the world's first cross-blockchain NFT marketplace, GalaxE lets you collect non-fungible tokens on your own terms." He adds, "We like to call GalaxE 'The Metaverse Reimagined' because we are taking what isn't working about the current models and completely rethinking them."
-HODL CEO Lenny Schutz says GalaxE
About HODL Assets, Inc.
HodlAssets.org (or HODL Assets), PARENT COMPANY of the revolutionary GalaxE NFT aggregator platform, was the first to facilitate the creation, buying, and selling of non-fungible tokens on multiple blockchains. In contrast, most other NFT marketplaces support only Ethereum. HODL has also differentiated itself from its competitors by assessing no initial contract, listing, or auction settlement fees, but instead charging its users only a minting fee. The HODL platform is also the first NFT marketplace to offer Gaming and Social Networking components as part of its native ecosystem. With every new feature it adds to the platform, the HODL Assets team endeavors to further dispel the mystery and confusion that often surround these wonderfully innovative technologies by providing a safer, more user-friendly environment where people can come to learn, create, and confidently participate in blockchain-fueled e-commerce and networking. In short, HODL is a place where users are free to explore and enjoy the innovation of today's most sought-after technologies.
Lightspeed Commerce Inc. | May 13, 2022
Lightspeed Commerce Inc. (TSX: LSPD) (NYSE: LSPD), the one-stop commerce platform for merchants around the world to simplify, scale and create exceptional customer experiences, will be showcasing their new Lightspeed Restaurant flagship POS and commerce platform at the 2022 National Restaurant Association show in Chicago May 21-24.
"After the unprecedented challenges the industry has faced over the past two years, Lightspeed is thrilled to return to McCormick Place to spend time with our customers and partners with a brand new commerce platform, We're ready to wow the industry with what Lightspeed Restaurant can do."
-Hospitality GM Peter Dougherty.
Lightspeed Restaurant brings the power of thoughtful integrations and cloud technology to the hospitality industry, with fully integrated inventory, payments, analytics, and online ordering, as well as simplified workflows and interfaces in the POS and back-office software so your technology never slows you down.
Lightspeed will have its comprehensive hospitality commerce solutions on display in the Tech Pavilion at Booth #6265, with industry experts doing live demos of features that help streamline operations and run smarter restaurants, like Order Anywhere, Automated Inventory, Lightspeed Payments, and more.
Hospitality GM Peter Dougherty will also be on the NRA show mainstage with Terrace Bay Hotel owner Jarred Drown and food and beverage/front-of-house director Sam Barton to discuss the mounting challenges of food and labor costs in today's market and how technology can help manage costs and automate tasks.
Lightspeed is offering an exclusive hardware offer to merchants who sign up to partner with Lightspeed at the NRA show. To register for the NRA show, click here. Lightspeed Restaurant is leveraged by Five Guys, Daniel, Kei, Canlis, and Alinea, and is now available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany. Learn more about Lightspeed Restaurant on our website and see the new Lightspeed Restaurant in action here.
Powering the businesses that are the backbone of the global economy, Lightspeed's one-stop commerce platform helps merchants innovate to simplify, scale and provide exceptional customer experiences. Our cloud commerce solution transforms and unifies online and physical operations, multichannel sales, expansion to new locations, global payments, financial solutions and connection to supplier networks. Founded in Montréal, Canada in 2005, Lightspeed is dual-listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: LSPD) and Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: LSPD). With teams across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the company serves retail, hospitality and golf businesses in over 100 countries.