Innovative technology firm Reward creating 60 jobs in Belfast

Pictured at the announcement of the new software engineering team in Belfast are Gavin Dein, Reward International and Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI
Gareth McKeown

AN innovative technology company, which allows people to earn rewards when they use credit or debit cards to shop, is creating up to 60 new jobs in Belfast.

Reward, who already have two offices in England, is establishing a new software engineering team in Belfast, with 60 positions set to be created in the city over the next three years, delivering an additional £2.1 million in annual salaries into the Northern Ireland economy.

The company was founded in 2001 by Gavin Dein, the son of David Dein, a former vice chairman of Arsenal FC and co-founder of the English Premier League, and he told the Irish News how the firm works with some of the largest retailers in the world, including Amazon.

"We run loyalty programmes for banks and then we help airlines make their loyalty programmes more attractive and we do that by using a new technology called Card Linked Offers. So instead of taking a voucher or coupon, or an extra loyalty card, you can connect an offer to your debit or credit card, which means that every time you shop you can automatically earn points or cash back or miles, without having to take out a second card or coupon."

Europe's largest Card Linked Offers company and loyalty platform provider has chosen Belfast as its engineering hub for innovation, with 10 positions set to be in place before Christmas at its temporary home in the Ormeau Baths. The city beat off competition from Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh and eastern Europe to secure the business, with the skilled workforce a key selling point for Belfast.

"We were surprised at the quality of talent, the number of people who wanted to make a career here. We also liked the fact there is so many people coming out of university so that once you're in you can keep getting good talent coming through and that was very attractive for us. For us we're looking at this as a long-term play. We wanted to find somewhere we could put in roots, get into the community and keep employing amazing people. So we're planning on investing over £2 million over the next few years into Northern Ireland and you don't take those investments lightly."

Reward are in the market for new premise and anticipate moving in the middle of next year. They hope to have all 60 roles in place by the end of 2019 and see scope for growth in the future.

"With the people that we've met and the quality of people we've hired and the relationships that we have there's no reason why we would stop at 60," Mr Dein added.

Invest NI has offered £456k of support to secure the project.

Reward currently employs 80 people at its offices in London and Hertfordshire.

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