App maker Mavin, which developed the free data mobile app Gigato, has partnered with the Murugappa Group conglomerate’s finance and insurance arm Cholamandalam Finance for a loyalty rewards program. The partnership works by integrating Mavin’s newly released Software Development Kit (SDK) into the Chola app.  As a reward for high-value transactions and routine tasks performed on the app, the Chola app will use Mavin’s SDK to reward users with shopping vouchers, restaurant coupons, movie tickets, and mobile wallet credits. Unlike Gigato, however, this partnership will not provide free mobile data credit to users, a Chola spokesperson clarified.

The Mavin SDK gives app makers tools to reward users with data cashbacks for completing tasks and helps maintain ‘leaderboards’ of users who complete the most tasks. It also gives developers tracking tools to reward users for referrals, where new installs are rewarded with mobile data credits, or in Chola’s case, other rewards. The SDK also gives developers analytics on user trends. “Activity-based app rewards not only delight first time users and increase download, but also boost brand loyalty, increase user retention, and solve app usage issues tremendously,” Mavin CEO Shailesh Nalawadi said.

Mavin’s Gigato app, along with similar apps like Freeway and Databack, were the subject of a Free Data consultation held by TRAI last year. One of the recommendations was that mobile credit should be in the form of cashbacks that users can utilise to buy any data pack that their telecom provider offers, including calling; not just data credits in exchange for actions like downloading or using an app.

So far, free data app mCent is one of few (if not only) apps that have implemented this recommendation. The recommendations also include government subsidy for data and allowing third party aggregators to reimburse data to users. The Department of Telecommunications will now have to decide how to proceed with the recommendations.