NAGOYA -- Employment services provider Recruit Holdings will join one of the two major camps promoting competing reward point programs encompassing various industries in Japan.
Ponta, a program operated by a Mitsubishi Corp. subsidiary, boasts more than 60 million members and lets them earn and redeem points at around 22,000 stores, including Lawson convenience stores. Recruit will merge its reward point program into Ponta as early as spring 2015, helping to boost Ponta's membership by more than 10 million.
The rival program, T-Point, is pushed by Culture Convenience Club and has about 50 million members. It was joined by Yahoo Japan last year.
Loyalty Marketing, the Mitsubishi subsidiary behind Ponta, plans to issue around 8 billion yen ($77.57 million) in shares as early as this summer. Recruit will spend some 1.5 billion yen to take a 15% interest. Lawson, an existing shareholder, will also acquire some of the shares.
Recruit used to issue separate identification numbers for each service, such as hotel booking, job searches and wedding planning. But it has consolidated them into one ID per member, making it easier to manage information on each customer.
The Ponta camp is expected to use Recruit's data for product development and sales promotion.