Growing out of a partnership between ezRez Software and PayPal, members of United Airlines' MileagePlus loyalty program are expected next year to be able to use miles to pay for products and services directly from merchants who accept PayPal.
Under ezRez's SaaS platform and digital wallet solution, members of airline and hotel loyalty programs would enable their members to use combinations of points and cash to purchase products and services using their PayPal accounts.
United Airlines is the launch partner for the service as ezRez intends to implement the solution with PayPal in 2012.
ezRez already works with United Airlines, having begun to offer MileagePlus members hotel and car awards in 2009.
San Francisco-based ezRez also provides its SaaS platform to loyalty programs and payment providers, including AirAsia, American Airlines, Starwood Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels, JetBlue, American Express and PayPal, among others.
"ezRez already processes more than 20 billion reward points annually through our SaaS platform so this is a natural extension for us," says Daniel Farrar, ezRez CEO. "We're helping MileagePlus further improve the value of miles for its members by enabling the program to be more easily used to pay for products and services in addition to traditional rewards like flights, hotels and car rentals."
MileagePlus members today can use miles to shop for merchandise on United.com.
What changes with the ezRez digital wallet solution is that MileagePlus members will be able to use miles and combinations of miles and points to purchase products and services directly from merchants using PayPal.
The merchant deals with and delivers the product directly to the consumer, whose airline or hotel loyalty account automatically gets debited, ezRez says.
Rewards programs have the option to enable members to instantly redeem points for cash in their PayPal accounts, with each program establishing how much cash a point is worth.
PayPal intends to release more details of how the program will work when it is introduced sometime in 2012.
The ezRez digital wallet solution is intended to be international in nature.