Hatten Land to go places with blockchain-backed rewards app

By
/ EdgeProp
|
June 4, 2018 9:00 PM SGT
In the real estate industry, startups are vying to revamp how businesses are run. Many are offering services built on blockchain, a technology that will streamline processes, digitise and foolproof property transactions. Now, even Singapore Exchange-listed Hatten Land wants a share of the pie.
The company will launch its blockchain-backed rewards app for consumers in December. The platform, called StayCay, will first integrate 3,400 hotel rooms and 5,000 retail outlets across the company’s portfolio of assets in Melaka, allowing users to purchase discounted hotel stays in advance and use reward points across facilities such as those in retail, hospitality, F&B and wellness.
“We believe this roll-out will be able to help us retain and incentivise our retailers and customers in Melaka,” said Colin Tan, executive chairman and managing director of Hatten Land, at StayCay’s media unveiling in Singapore on May 22. This will be done by pooling existing rewards and membership programmes across all of its property developments on the digital platform. Currently, these remain siloed and tied to individual projects, which does not encourage recurring customers between the company’s expansive offerings, notes Tan.
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Blockchain enables this feature, as the technology works as a digital ledger that records live transactions. This record is shared globally across thousands of computers in real time. Here, the shared nature of the ledger is its strength — every computer on the network takes note of each new transaction and, once a record is logged, it is irreversible.
Hatten’s Southeast Asian game
Harbour City, in Melaka, comprises a shopping mall, a water-theme park and three hotels (Credit: Hatten Land)
By linking reward incentives digitally across its extensive array of projects, Tan believes he will eventually be able to create an international alliance of hotels and retailers that will draw in customers. “What we are looking at is a Southeast Asian game,” Tan says. The company will target retail malls and hotels in the region that are struggling to bring in customers. “If they were to work together with us, we would already have a network of customers that can help.”
Over the past decade, Hatten Group — parent company of Hatten Land — has become a leading property player in Melaka, where it is headquartered. Hatten Group manages hotels and malls. Of note is Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall, the largest and most visited mall in the Malaysian state today. “We have roughly 17 million visitors going to the mall yearly,” Tan says. In comparison, Singapore received 17.4 million foreign arrivals in 2017, according to the Singapore Tourism Board.
Separately, Hatten Land’s six property developments in Melaka are Hatten City Phases 1 and 2, an assortment of retail and strata shops, serviced suites, condominium units and a hotel; Harbour City, comprising a shopping mall, a water-theme park and three hotels; Vedro by the River, a 736-retail unit mall; Satori, the company’s first wellness development comprising serviced residences, a retail mall and a hotel; and MICC, a mixed-use project.
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All aboard the blockchain bandwagon
From left: FundPlaces chief operating officer Tan Kok Keong; FundPlaces CEO Brian Wee; Hatten Land executive chairman Colin Tan; Hatten Land adviser Eric Tan; and Hatten Land executive director Edwin Tan (Credit: WeR1 Consultants)
StayCay will be built by FundPlaces, a Singaporean proptech start-up. The project is an 85:15 joint venture between the two companies, with Hatten Land taking a majority stake.
Building StayCay on blockchain can help Hatten Land in three other ways. First, data analytics gleaned from the digital records can help the company improve on customer experience. “All the data captured can be analysed and used by management to recommend things or activities of interest to customers,” explains Tan Kok Keong, chief operating officer and co-founder of FundPlaces.
Second, membership points, once logged on the blockchain, will not be lost or tampered with. This avoids the worst-case scenario of lost points because of faulty software, Kok Keong says.
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Third, StayCay will allow Hatten Land to cut costs. A centralised system will lower the reliance on manpower, for instance. Instead of different individuals manning the system, processes would be automated, explains
Hatten Land’s Tan.
“We gave ourselves a target of managing total assets worth US$1 billion [$1.3 billion] in size,” he says. If all bets prove right with StayCay, this could set the stage for the company’s expansion into the region.