When I was in Chicago last month I met up with Kurt Fromherz from Connecticut. I have known Kurt for many years and he is one of the innovators in retail marketing. He identified, like me, that loyalty clubs are still an essential marketing tool, but consumers do not want their wallets and purses filled with different loyalty cards for different retailers. At the same time the Phone App is one of the fastest developing retail marketing tools. Isn’t this an opportunity to combine a loyalty scheme with a Phone app? Enter epunched.com. Imagine as a consumer you go to your favourite restaurant, before going, or even as you enter you download the restaurant’s own phone app. You have your meal and get the meal bill plus you show your phone app to the restaurant team member who keys in a four digit pin. You then collect points for visiting the restaurant based on how much you have spent. As a consumer you can check on your points whenever you like, plus see what rewards and offers are available from the restaurant. Once you have enough points to redeem for a meal, you let the waiter know when you enter the restaurant that you wish to use your points. The restaurant has a relationship with you and can link the conversation into Facebook. As a restaurant you have complete control over the loyalty program and can engage with individual customers. I have used a restaurant as an example here, but the system can be used with any retail operation. I love the simplicity of this system and it takes customer loyalty management to the next level.