CCC, Sumitomo Mitsui announce point program integration

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s Culture Convenience Club Co. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. said Monday that they have reached a basic agreement to merge their loyalty point programs.

CCC’s T-Point program and Sumitomo Mitsui’s V Point program will be merged into one. The integrated program will be launched under a new name around spring 2024.

The combined number of T-Point and V Point program users stands at 122 million, making the new program one of the biggest for reward points in Japan.

Through the merger, the two companies aim to enhance the convenience of users by allowing them to gain and use reward points at more shops, so that they can better compete with reward-point alliances including the one led by e-commerce giant Rakuten Group Inc. .

“V Point users can earn points at Visa Inc. credit card member stores, while T-Point users can gain points through many means of settlements, including cash and cashless payments,” Sumitomo Mitsui Managing Executive Officer Katsuyuki Tokuda told an online press conference.

CCC and Sumitomo Mitsui concluded the basic agreement to form a capital and business alliance Friday.

For the point program integration, the two companies plan to turn CCC MK Holdings Co., a CCC unit operating the T-Point program, into a joint company owned 60 pct by CCC and 40 pct by Sumitomo Mitsui.

The two sides aim to conclude a final deal by the end of December.

The new point program will allow users to gain and use reward points at current T-Point program member stores, such as FamilyMart Co.’s convenience stores, and current V Point member stores, including establishments accepting Visa credit cards.

The two sides will also consider launching a new payment service using smartphones.

At present, the T-Point program, which began in 2003, has about 70 million users, along with over 150,000 member stores across the country.

The V Point program, which allows users to gain points by using Visa credit cards and Sumitomo Mitsui financial services, has some 52 million users holding Visa credit cards. This program started in 2020.

Rakuten’s point program and Loyalty Marketing Inc.’s Ponta program each has more than 100 million users, while NTT Docomo Inc.’s d Point program has over 90 million users.