We built Yoyo Wallet after talking to hundreds of retailers of all sizes. This is what we discovered: no one is addressing the retailer’s top 3 issues which are: Who is my customer? How do I create a personal engagement with my customer? How do I sell more?
Instead the payment industry, the phone manufacturers, the telco’s are all trying to solve a non-existing “payment problem” with technology. ApplePay, SamsungPay, AndroidPay and some bank or telco initiatives are interesting in that they make the idea that we will all use our smart devices to pay more pervasive. That’s helpful but not revolutionary. No one is addressing the customer experience question either. Is a payment the only dimension of a transaction at the point of sale? What about my rewards? What about the recognition that I deserve from my favourite retail stores?
Starbuck’s on the other hand has given us a preview of what the world of retail will look like. The Starbuck mobile app combines payment and loyalty. It works, people use it every day, but only at Starbuck’s. What about the other retailers? Will they all build their own app? Should I have a mobile wallet for each of my favourite retailer? We don’t think so.
So the challenge we set ourselves at Yoyo was to address the retailer’s top 3 issues with smart technology, because we believe that this is the precondition to delivering a superior customer experience. What does this smart technology do? First Yoyo is integrated into the point of sale software, by providing a Yoyo acceptance API to EPOS software vendors; today there are more than 20 EPOS software which accept Yoyo, which gives us good coverage i the verticals that we are targeting. This EPOS integration is essential because now Yoyo captures the full basket data at the time of transaction. This means that Yoyo can match a customer profile to her basket data. That’s huge. Let me say it another way: Yoyo is able to gain insight into the profile, preferences and behaviour of a customer, based on the data that we capture at the time of the transaction. That’s the holy grail of retail. Our technology uses the payment transaction (by presenting the unique QR code in the Yoyo app to the scanner at the till) to enable a whole new buying experience and solve the 3 problems of the retailer: know your customer, engage with your customer in a personal way, and of course sell more. Effectively we have created the open loop, multi-retailer SMART WALLET: as a user I can pay (and attach any funding source including debit cards, credit cards, even ApplePay), I can accumulate points at each of the retailers I go to, I can spend those points against the rewards that I really want, I can get my free coffee voucher straight in the app (if I am a coffee drinker) without thinking about it, I can receive offers from the brands I like. A smart wallet should also enable a retailer to sell bundle deals of the product that I buy regularly: buy 10 coffees in advance in the app and receive 12? of course I do it. In fact my Yoyo wallet has become my personal marketplace: this is much more than just payment.
We believe that a mobile transaction has to be A LOT better than any existing form of transaction, otherwise there is little adoption. And now we can prove it: Yoyo is live in 30 UK universities and over 50 corporate canteens, representing over 700 points of sale, where Yoyo’s share of total transactions averages 30% (in some environments it is as high as 65%), exceeding contactless cards, ApplePay and traditional credit and debit cards. By the end of this year we will reach out to 1m people through the clients we are adding every week. This is only the beginning, high street retail chains are now seeing what a mobile wallet can offer and they are interested. To satisfy the requirements of larger national or international chains we are even opening up our platform API and SDK so that they can create their own mobile wallet “Powered by Yoyo”.
Our ambitions are global, because the retailer problems are universal and no one has approached the market the way we did. We opened subsidiaries in the US and Singapore and are now recruiting in these two geographies. Our next round of fund raising will be significant in line with our geographical expansion plans. Making mobile relevant for retail is our mission and it is a global one.
Co-founder & CEO