Pepsi's loyalty program puts cash in your Venmo account

Or PayPal, if you're of a certain age.

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Do you wish soft drink makers would stop using point systems for reward programs and simply give you cold, hard cash? You're about to get your wish... in a manner of speaking. Pepsi is launching a PepCoin loyalty program that rewards you for buying both a single-serve beverage and a Frito-Lay snack by sending money to PayPal and Venmo accounts. If you scan enough codes on bottles and bags, you'll receive a little bit of cash. You'll have to earn $2 before it goes to your account, but this is real spending money -- you can use it to pay your share of last night's pizza.

The beverage behemoth tells Engadget this is a permanent program. You won't be under pressure to have soft drinks and chips at every given opportunity, even if there will undoubtedly be an incentive to pick them when you're satisfying a craving at the convenience store.

This is definitely an uncommon promo, and reflects how online payments have grabbed a foothold. It's certainly easier than converting points or asking stores to pay customers. The question is whether or not people will embrace the program in large numbers. In some ways, this is an experiment to see just how much the snack-seeking crowd appreciates digital money.

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