The wholesale giant ‘apM’ has been a major player in the Korean fashion business for the past two decades. Combining the two abbreviations AM and PM, ‘apM’ refers to ‘the mall that never sleeps’. apM Group provides three large wholesale shopping malls in the popular Korean Dongdaemun market, offering over 1,300 brands of locally made clothing to some 1.5M annual visitors. Partnering with apM, the apM Coin has recently launched a blockchain-based customer rewards and payment project that aims to overhaul the structure of reward point systems in the wholesale fashion business through distributed ledger technology and tokenization.
While reward point systems have been around for a long time, a lack of transparency and risks with centralized systems pose hazards to corporations who operate these programs. In terms of true digital currency, these reward point programs do not function well in their current form. Consumers rely on a centralized party to fulfill reward point agreements and facilitate transactions. If conflicts arise, it can be difficult to enforce the rules. apM Coin uses blockchain and the principles of tokenization to effectively reduce the cost of trust and risk management for reward program operators.
apM Coin uses a dual token system that consists of ERC-20 based apM Coin tokens and native apM Cash tokens. apM Coins are freely traded on digital currency markets and reflect the current value of the apM Coin company. apM Cash is used as reward points and act as a currency within the platform. The value of apM Cash is fixed at 1 KRW per 1 reward point token. These tokens are not freely traded on digital currency markets however they can be exchanged for apM Coin tokens through Ethereum connectors. The exchange rate between the two tokens varies depending on the current value of apM Coins. Both tokens can be used as a convenient and cost-effective method for settling transactions with participating vendors. If a user pays with apM Coins, the conversion to apM Cash happens automatically at the current exchange rate. Users can avoid price volatility by storing assets as apM Cash.
apM Coin will be launching a mobile application called apM Members that users use to access rewards, payments, and other services from their smartphone. By scanning a QR code at checkout, users can spend digital apM currency at apM shops while seamlessly collecting rewards. Within the app, users can manage their balances and exchange between the two apM tokens as well as access other exclusive member benefits. As reward points are accumulated, users will gain new membership rankings which grant them access to new and exciting benefits. Everything is optimized around speed and security to provide a convenient and trustworthy user experience.
The platform has two main personas—customers(buyers) and wholesalers(sellers). Customers accumulate and pay with reward points (apM Cash) using the apM Members app while wholesalers accumulate and settle reward points using the apM sales management service. For wholesalers to gain access to the management service and customer data, a quarterly deposit of apM Coins is required. This CRM enables retailers to strategically manage their customers and respond quickly to changes in the industry. Customers who accumulate and hold enough apM Coins also gain access to special benefits such as VIP lounges, complimentary shuttle services or coffee coupons. Both mechanisms support the value of apM Coins and provide stability to the ecosystem.
The apM Coin project team is currently working to build out the design and infrastructure to support transactions, customer rewards, and data collection within the platform. According to their roadmap, they plan to release the apM Members mobile application in Q4 of this year, enabling customers to experience exclusive member benefits of the application. The apM team hopes their efforts to drive successful adoption within their own ecosystem and will ultimately provide significant contributions to the global presence of the Korean wholesale fashion industry by providing efficient and convenient borderless customer reward and payment system.
More information on the apM Coin project can be found at http://apm-coin.com/.