myWorld Review: Cashback World, Lyconet & Lyoness in 2021
Lyoness is based out of Austria. The company was founded by Hubert Freidl all the way back in 2003.
In between reviews and since then, we’ve been following significant developments. And there’s been quite a few.
To keep thing simple I’ll restrict covering Lyoness’ history to the last few years.
- the ACCC stuffed up a pyramid scheme case brought against Lyoness in Australia
- Lyoness and Hubert Friedl (right) were cleared of criminal charges in Austria
- the Philippines took a look into Lyoness, found there wasn’t much retail going on but left it at that
- Lyoness was found guilty of deceptive business practices in Austria
- Swedish police dropped a pyramid scheme investigation into Lyoness because it was too hard
- a Vienna court found Lyoness’ affiliate terms and conditions to be illegal
- the Portuguese Consumer Protection Association issued a warning against Lyoness
- a Swiss Court ruled Lyoness was a Ponzi scheme, invalidating affiliate contracts in the process
- new criminal charges were filed against Lyoness and Friedl in Austria
- Norway reopened its pyramid scheme investigation into Lyoness
- Poland groups Lyoness with a bunch of notorious Ponzis and issues a warning
- Norway finds Lyoness to be an “illegal pyramid scheme” and bans the company
- Lyoness responds to Norwegian finding by changing its name to myWorld, ushering in confusing Lyoness/Lyconet/myWorld/Cashback World era
- Lyoness announces plans to jump on cryptocurrency bandwagon, ultimately leads nowhere
- Italy finds Lyoness to be a pyramid scheme, issues 3.2 million EUR fine
- criminal case opened up against Lyoness in Norway
- Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection finds Lyoness to be a pyramid scheme
- Norwegian police abandon criminal case due to lack of resources
- Lyoness resurrected in Italy, again found to be a pyramid scheme and fined another 3 million EUR
Despite all of that and numerous cases, some of which are still playing out, Austrian authorities seem unable to shut Lyoness down.
Every few months I’ll read updates on what’s going on in Austria, yet none of it seems to stick.
Note that in the spirit of keeping up with Lyoness’ attempts to evade regulation, this review will focus on the MLM business opportunity as myWorld.
Lyoness and Lyconet are still operational, and the cashback shopping portal operates as Cashback World.
Read on for a full review of myWorld’s MLM business opportunity.
myWorld has no retailable products and services of its own, with affiliates only able to market affiliate membership itself (Premium membership).
The Cashback World shopping portal is free to use for both affiliates and retail customers.
Cashback World provides access to discounts at various retailers. Whether myWorld uses a third-party discount platform has never been clarified.
It’s likely that on some level Cashback World is its own platform, as myWorld offers a white label version to qualifying businesses organizations.
myWorld’s Compensation Plan
myWorld’s compensation plan revolves around acquisition of shopping points.
Shopping points can be acquired via
- purchases on Cashback World made by a myWorld affiliate or a personally referred customer
- purchases made by a Cashback World affiliate’s recruited downline (whether downline customers also count towards an upline’s shopping points is unclear)
The specifics of how shopping points are calculated is a guarded secret. To the best of my knowledge myWorld do not publish this information anywhere.
Based on monthly acquisition of shopping points via the above methods, residual income is earned as follows:
- generate 600 shopping points a month and earn €50 EUR
- generate 1600 shopping points a month and earn €200 EUR
- generate 6000 shopping points a month and earn €500 EUR
- generate 20,000 shopping points a month and earn €1200 EUR
- generate 50,000 shopping points a month and earn €3000 EUR
- generate 200,000 shopping points a month and earn €8000 EUR
- generate 500,000 shopping points a month and earn €20,000 EUR
- generate 1,250,000 shopping points a month and earn €50,000 EUR
The Marketing Bonus pays “up to 1%” on Cashback World purchases made by a myWorld affiliate and their personally referred customers.
I believe the “up to 1%” is calculated on the cashback amount myWorld receives from a merchant.
The specifics of “up to 1%” (e.g. the exact percentage paid out) is not disclosed.
Rank Achievement Bonuses
myWorld’s latest compensation video states:
Lyconet also has an incredible reward program that honors each milestone on your path to success.
From life-changing seminars held at breathtaking locations to unique incentives that will help increase your lifestyle.
These are assumed to be Rank Achievement Bonuses. As with the Marketing Bonus, no specifics are provided.
myWorld affiliate membership is free. This is misleading however, as discussed in the conclusion below.
I was anticipating another headache reviewing Lyoness. Turns out the compensation plan itself has been greatly simplified – but I still got a headache tracking it down.
Lyoness are very cagey about providing a simple, easy to understand and complete copy of their compensation plan. Obtaining this has always been a struggle, and I maintain this alone should turn you off as a potential Lyoness affiliate.
With myWorld, Lyoness has ditched the structured ROI formula that we slammed as Ponzi scheme since our initial 2012 review. It now more closely resembles a pyramid scheme.
To be clear Lyoness has always had a pyramid element. Recruitment of new Premium affiliates is what triggered ROI payments, with Lyoness collapsing in every market recruitment inevitably fizzled out in.
The monthly payment differs from unit-based structures, mixing in cashback shopping with recruitment. Since inception however, cashback has served as nothing more than a ruse.
The quickest and most efficient way to earn in Lyoness has traditionally been recruitment of “Premium” affiliates. These are affiliates who back in the day put down-payments on “account unit” investment positions.
These positions, later renamed “shopping units”, paid a return once enough subsequent investment had been made by recruited affiliates.
Today the same process is utilized, only now with greatly diminished returns.
Premium myWorld affiliates sign up and purchase e-vouchers;
This will enable customers to have funds available on their Cashback Profile to purchase vouchers.
This feature will most likely only be used if members paid money over and they don’t want to place an order right away.
This provides shopping points for whoever recruited them and their upline. It’s the same idea behind accounting/shopping units.
Stories of myWorld affiliates being recruited into Lyoness are out there. Just three days ago a Reddit user requested help in recovering 20,000 GBP spent by a family member.
With payments made monthly based on shopping unit production, the difference between now and the investment unit era is there’s no accumulated balance.
What this boils down to is I can recruit someone and get them to spend thousands on e-vouchers, but that will only count towards that month’s commission calculation for me.
For residual commissions I’m relying on repeat spending by those I’ve recruited, recruiting new affiliates and/or recruitment activity by my downline.
Shopping by non-affiliates is of course there but seeing as its been negligible when it comes to building Lyoness as a business, there’s no reason that has changed.
Perhaps the best example of this was back in 2018 when Italy announced it was investigating Lyoness.
At the time Lyoness’ unit investment scheme had and was spreading like wildfire throughout italy.
Lyoness responded to the investigation by disabling the investment scheme in Italy. Cashback shopping was still allowed.
By the time Italy fined and banned Lyoness for being a pyramid scheme in Jan 2019, Lyoness had already collapsed.
In 2018 a regulatory investigation by Norway, based on information submitted by Lyoness, revealed that only 21% of issued Cashback World shopping cards had actually been used.
Furthermore you can plot any country Lyoness has temporarily taken off in over the years, and see that once recruitment tanks, so does the business.
If anything the cashback niche has become more competitive over the years, what with the rise of free browser apps. This equates to Lyoness’ cashback offering in 2021 being more irrelevant than ever.
To date Lyoness has failed to maintain a sizable business in any country where affiliate recruitment has run its course.
Will the court cases in Austria ever go anywhere? Who knows.
In mid 2020 or so myWorld was all but resurrected by renewed recruitment activity in Italy.
After the second fine it’s likely business there will collapse again. This has prompted Friedl to roll out an IPO marketing plan.
According to the marketing video the above screenshot is taken from, myWorld affiliates will receive “myWorld share points” (MSP).
MSPs are acquired “by buying and redeeming benefit vouchers” (e-vouchers with a new name?).
MSPs “can be converted into company shares during the planned IPO”. Friedl insists Lyoness will list as a “multi-billion dollar company”.
Bear in mind Lyoness isn’t registered to offer securities in any country it operates in, so marketing virtual shares is already a new chapter of securities fraud.
In addition to the unit investment scheme securities fraud, Lyoness again committed securities fraud in 2015 with its Customer Cloud scheme.
I’m not holding my breath on whether Austrian authorities capitalize on Lyoness’ newly announced public offering.
In the meantime Lyoness, Lyconet, myWorld, Cashback World and any other names they come up with, are subject to the rules of MLM pyramid schemes; namely that the majority of participants are guaranteed to lose money.