The tech behind the rewards

By: Eric Wilkens
A look at what’s happening behind the scenes of Verizon Up

The hair on the back of your neck rises as the countdown clock on your smartphone methodically inches towards zero.

Your thumb nervously hovers over the screen in the exact spot of the “Claim Reward” button you’re waiting to press. At stake are the exclusive Lady Gaga tickets that are about to become available.

The red button appears. You tap the screen incessantly with your thumb. The screen changes and you’re hit with a feeling of exhilaration.

You got the tickets.

It’s a fantasy scenario now, but it could soon become reality thanks to a robust team of engineers, developers, and designers. 

Lady Gaga


For more than a year, a collaboration of more than 200 people, between experience designers, front and back-end developers, finance numbers crunchers, and marketing mavens worked to launch the new Verizon Up rewards program.

Kallen Trachsel is one of the project owners who led the Verizon Up development team from the beginning of the process. She said that from the back-end systems engineers to the front-end developers that manage what users see in the program, it demanded massive coordination across a diverse team.

“What the user experiences is only one layer that makes up the final product,” Trachsel said. “Take the program at its core and it’s a vehicle to thank our customers. Add a layer and you’ll find customer experience. Add another layer and you’ll find IT that builds and tests the program to ensure its effectiveness. It’s managing different work channels so that everything gels together.”

We’re able to identify who came in first when customers vie for top Super Tickets

The way the program works is simple. For every $300 spent on a Verizon Wireless bill, a customer earns one credit that can be redeemed for rewards and experiences. Customers have 60 days to redeem the credit once it shows up in their account.

The ways to redeem rewards

These are the areas of rewards through the program: 

  • Everyday Rewards, which are free services and discounts to some of today’s hottest brands such as: Amazon, Headspace, Boxed and DonorsChoose.org.
  • Super Tickets, which allow customers to access to the most sought after events in sports, music and entertainment such as NFL and Broadway shows.
  • Dream Tickets, which are once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as tickets to NFL events including Kickoff in New England, 2018 Pro Bowl and Super Bowl LII.
  • Verizon Rewards, which allow customers to bank up to $10 towards your next Verizon device purchase. Save up these rewards and it could total $240 off your next device, discounts on accessories and bonus data (1GB or 2GB).

Trachsel explained that the engineering behind the three areas is highly nuanced and involves teams from throughout the business to ensure even the smallest details are met.

“We’re able to identify who came in first when customers vie for top Super Tickets,” she explained. “That’s a detail that often goes unnoticed, but it involves IT working in conjunction with production and development operations to make sure that there’s an orderly system for customers who are trying to claim the same reward.”

She added, “For example, when the timer hits zero with Super Tickets, we needed to make sure that customers get to a second screen to input information to get the tickets in a seamless way. It’s often taken for granted, but it involved our IT team to ensure that customers have a few minutes to fill out necessary information so the tickets are reserved for them.” 

Tailored for you

Every action in the program is a highly coordinated system of engineering. From tracking bill payments, to allocating credit when a customer becomes eligible to redeem a reward, to tracking when the customer uses the credit before it expires, there are specialized teams that work to make a lasting customer experience.

For Trachsel, one of the most unique features of the program is that it offers rewards that are relevant to each individual customer.

Verizon Up is able to tailor the reward specifically to a customer’s interests. For example, if a customer frequently redeems Starbucks gift cards or data rewards, then the program will know to continue serving those specific rewards to them. 

Enroll in Verizon Up now through the My Verizon App

For related media inquiries, please contact story.inquiry@one.verizon.com

About the author(s): 

Eric Wilkens is on the external communications team at Verizon. He is focused on next-generation public relations, brand storytelling, and digital campaigns. His background includes technology, broadcast, and higher education.