Majid Al Futtaim buys digital wallet start-up Beam
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Majid Al Futtaim, the Dubai-based retail and hospitality holding company, has bought Beam Portal, a mobile wallet provider, it said on Wednesday.

The acquisition grants Majid Al Futtaim ownership of Beam’s IP rights, branding, and e-wallet services across the region, the company said in a statement.

Analysts told Gulf News that the move appeared to largely be a play for Beam’s loyalty and rewards scheme.

“The integration of Beam within our businesses is a landmark moment that will enable us to better serve our customers and gain a better understanding of their preferences through multiple touchpoints,” said Joe Abi Akl, Majid Al Futtaim’s acting chief corporate development officer.

With a network of more than 2,000 stores, Beam will roll out more broadly across Majid Al Futtaim businesses in the coming months, Gulf News understands.

“We look forward to harnessing the power of Beam’s technology to help us replicate our physical prominence in the digital world,” Abi Akl added.

Beam 012
Founded in 2012, Beam allows shoppers to earn cash back on their purchases, while paying digitally for items on their phone. Image Credit: Youtube screengrab

Beam recently launched in Majid Al Futtaim fashion and home retail stores in the UAE. The retailer says that the platform will enable Majid Al Futtaim to offer “various innovative solutions” to its customers.

Majid Al Futtaim, which recently raised a $1 billion revolving credit facility, did not disclose the value of the transaction. It has previously invested in technology start-ups, including logistics provider Fetchr.

Founded in 2012, Beam allows shoppers to earn cash back on their purchases, while paying digitally for items on their phone. The company says that it has more than 300,000 users globally.

Majid Al Futtaim has been working on its loyalty offering for some time, launching its MyCLUB rewards card for Carrefour six years ago.

From now until January 1, 2019, new Beam customers paying for the first time through the app will receive 30 per cent cash back in their Beam wallet, the company said in its statement. The promotion applies to Majid Al Futtaim owned locations, including its fashion and home stores, Carrefour, VOX Cinemas, Ski Dubai, and Magic Planet.

“Beam is a cornerstone for our strategy to offer our customers a unique and unforgettable experience tailored to their wants and anticipating their needs through an even better understanding of their desires,” Abi Akl said.