NEAR Balkans’ Tekuno and Mastercard Team Up for Gamified NFT Experience – NEAR Protocol

NEAR Balkans’ Tekuno and Mastercard Team Up for Gamified NFT Experience

NEAR Foundation
April 7, 2023

NEAR Foundation is thrilled to announce that Tekuno, one of the most innovative NEAR Balkans Hub projects, recently teamed up with Mastercard to serve up an incredibly unique real-life NFT experience. Attendees at the recent Money Motion (MoMo) Fintech conference in Zagreb, Croatia got a taste of how Web3 and NEAR can help brands reach new audiences with blockchain gamification.

Mastercard, a leader in global payment systems, enabled the Tekuno team and NEAR Balkans to realize this ground-breaking experience with NFTs. The NFT activation provided MoMo visitors with a gamified experience through which they could gather evidence of their participation at the conference and various NFTs — a concept called Proof of Doings (PODs).

These PODs had time and space restrictions, so participants could only pick them up during a particular period of the conference. PODs demonstrated a novel use case of how NFTs can be used to gamify real life, while strengthening Mastercard’s brand as forward-thinking in the loyalty and payments space.

Behind the Tekuno and Mastercard partnership

The city of Zagreb, Croatia, recently hosted the first edition of an exclusive FinTech conference called Money Motion. With Mastercard as one of the conference organizers and NEAR Balkans as a sponsor, this presented the perfect opportunity for collaboration.

Before the conference, NEAR Balkans Hub’s Product Lab was ready to launch Tekuno,  a blockchain as a service (BaaS) platform for NFT experiences. A user-friendly product for seamless onboarding of mass audiences to Web3, the Tekuno platform makes blockchain knowledge a preference rather than a requirement. 

Tekuno can be used for a variety of campaigns and experiences, including loyalty programs, marketing activations and events, CRM, HR initiatives, and much more. The technology does this through the creation of secure and transparent Proof-of-Doings (PODs) in the form of digital collectibles (NFTs) to attest and reward a wide range of activities. For the “Experience the Motion” campaign, Tekuno was used as proof-of-attendance.

How MoMo attendees claimed NFT PODs

In “Experience the Motion”, MoMo attendees proved their attendance by collecting a total of 5 different NFT PODs. These PODs were exclusive — attendees could only claim them at specific times during the conference.Attendees claimed their PODs by simply scanning QR codes at several predefined locations — the entrance, speakers presentations and panels, and the NEAR Balkans booth.

The PODs functioned as a prize raffle gateway, which attendees entered by following certain rules. MoMo attendees competed for a number of exciting prizes, including: exclusive Mastercard merchandise; a special 1–2–1 session with Christian Rau, Senior Vice President Crypto and Fintech Enablement Mastercard Europe; an invitation to a Web3 NEAR educational workshop, VIP access tickets for conference party; and the grand prize — a Mastercard experience at Chiavalon, Istria, an  olive oil making and tasting experience for two. 

NEAR Balkans and Mastercard campaign results 

The “Experience the Motion” ultimately reached more than 14,000 people on social media, and was available for over 1,000 attendees over two days of the conference. Tekuno’s user-friendly technology made it possible to distribute more than 500 PODs to more than 200 unique collectors.

Feedback from the attendees regarding the NFT experience and rewards was overwhelmingly positive. Participants found the Tekuno platform to be intuitive and easy to navigate. Participants  were able to easily open accounts, allowing them to follow the challenges and collect the PODs for a chance at winning exciting prizes. 

“This is the most seamless experience I have ever had with a Web3 app, and I’ve experimented with many, trust me,” said Vlaho Hrdalo, Lawyer and Chairman of UBIK — Croatian Association for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. 

Nikola Škorić, the CEO of Electrocoin, Gold sponsor of the conference, added: “‘Experience the Motion ’ —  the NFT activation made possible by Mastercard and organized by NEAR Balkans and Tekuno for the Money Motion conference, engaged our audience in an authentic and fun way that brought extra value to the conference while rewarding the luckiest ones.”

“We’re happy that Money Motion is a place of technology adoption and that brands see us as a great partner for such activities,” Škorić added.

Driving engagement with NFTs

As Mastercard and NEAR Balkans noted, many attendees, who ranged from fintech professionals to regional bank representatives, retail marketing leads, and others were particularly interested in Tekuno’s various use-cases. Indeed, it demonstrated the real-world applications and versatility of NFTs, helping traditional industries see the value in Web3 integrations. 

Gea Kariž, Marketing Director at Mastercard Croatia, shared her insights on the successful collaboration between Mastercard, Money Motion, Tekuno, and NEAR Balkans. 

‘’Our collaboration with the Tekuno and NEAR Balkans teams provided Mastercard HR with a seamless and exceptional entrance into the Web3 domain,” said Kariž. “Through this activation, we not only gained significant brand visibility but also reinforced our commitment to embracing blockchain and other cutting-edge technologies.”

“The added value of this campaign was the deep engagement we experienced with our end-users, fostering a strong sense of community around our brand and further solidifying our position as a forward-thinking and innovative company,” Kariž added.

The NEAR Balkans General Manager, Ida Pandur, was similarly inspired by the partnership — especially as it aligns with NEAR Foundation’s Web2.5 strategy of onboarding the masses with real use cases in Web3.

‘’We at NEAR Balkans are committed to help and enable mass adoption of Web3 and decentralization into everyday lives,” said Pandur. “The way we do it is by educating, enabling and  partnering with innovative organizations to bring Web3 to users in simple, value added, use cases. We are happy to have been working with Mastercard and use Tekuno, which is one of the best Web2→Web3 tools UX wise to bring it to life at MoneyMotion and from the interest we see across the region, it’s just getting started.’’

Sally Meouche-Grawi, CEO of Tekuno, noted that the campaign illustrated how Tekuno demonstrated that Web3 products can be user-friendly. 

“We’re trying to make it as user friendly as possible, but it’s still realistically a Web3 product, but it’s a Web3 product that is easy to use,” said Meouche-Grawi. “And this is what a lot of these products are critically lacking, which is the easy onboarding experience.”

“So, we are trying to set the standard… to show how we can create a Web3 product that any average user can actually use,” Meouche-Grawi added. “Because from my experience when it comes to Web3 products they are usually developed by developers for developers, this is the trend and we are trying to break it.’’

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