Payments

Yoyo Mobile Payments and Loyalty App Rolled out by Imperial College London

With smartphones becoming the most handy and never-forgotten things in the life, companies are leaving no stone unturned at tapping the potential of mobility. One of the markets that is asking for disruption, with great untapped potential is Retail. Yoyo, a London based startup, says their platform enables simpler and faster buying of goods via smartphone. “Think Starbucks mobile app and apply it to all retailers,” they said. Recently, Yoyo was rolled out across the entire campus of Imperial College in South Ken.

Yoyo is a new iPhone and Android mobile payment and loyalty app, which you can use to pay for food and drink in outlets across campus. The app, allows students, staff and visitors to purchase food and drink on campus without the requirement of cards or cash.

Yoyo was founded in the year 2013 by the team of entrepreneurs including Alain Falys, co-founder of OB10, the world’s largest e-invoicing business; Dave Nicholson, co-founder of Zopa (a peer-to-peer lending platform in the UK); and Michael Rolph, who ran merchant acquisition teams at Paypal, BarclayCard and First Data. The company has received a total funding of $1.25 Mn through investors Imperial Innovations and Firestartr.co.

How does it work?

  • Just top-up and pay as you go by scanning the barcode on the app at the till point - a simpler and faster way to pay.
  • No more worrying about queuing for cash.
  • The app will also automatically collect loyalty points where applicable, for example, when you buy a coffee.
  • You'll get a notification when you've earned enough points to claim your reward.

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"Taking Imperial College by storm, the app is now accepted pretty much everywhere across campus – including my personal favourite spots: h-bar (that has the best salads and where after 5 pm you can grab a beer or a glass of wine), Senior Room (that always has an amazing selection of healthy meals), Business School cafe (which provides my daily supply of black Americano, Earl Grey tea and Greek yoghurt with granola and nuts), Fuel salad bar (with smoothies to die for, mash and pie, soup and great salad bar) by Junior Room, Library cafe and many many more," reports Inna Semenyuk, in a blog post. "No need to carry cash or paper loyalty – as the coffee points are collected automatically, you get a free coffee quicker – and moreover – can share it with a friend instead of spending it on yourself."

“The cafes and restaurants on campus can get really busy during lunchtime and we are always looking for ways to speed up transactions and improve the service we offer to staff and students,” said Jemma Morris, head of catering operations. “We are pleased that there has been such a positive reaction to the app by both staff and students.”

Users of the app have grown to more than 4,000 people since Imperial College London integrated it into till systems at the start of the year, with Yoyo now out-performing contactless cards, handling around 30,000 transactions each month, with an average spend of £3.08.

Yoyo pitches itself as the smart way to buy, get rewarded and share. Their target is the high-volume, low-value transaction retailer base.

Whats in it for Retailers:

  • Yoyo is an economical payment method. It also provides with intelligence on consumer buying habits by integrating the point of sale information.
  • This in turn enables them to carve out personalised and efficient marketing campaigns via the app, thus increasing the consumer activity.
  • Yoyo enables retailers to use existing technology thus removing any expenditures in additional equipment.
  • The company also says that their technology is compatible with the existing platforms and is highly faster than any other e-payment solution till date. 

Whats in it for Consumers:

  • This app can act as a single point of reference for their shopping experience.
  • Here users can collect rewards from multiple retailers they shop from without the hassles of carrying any paper loyalty cards anymore.
  • Also users can share these rewards with their friends. 

Chiraag Patel

Chiraag Patel is a Senior Reporting Analyst and the Editor of Bitcoin and Virtual Currency channels at Lets Talk Payments. He is an engineer with deep interest in MMORPG, Virtual Banking, Game Currency and Virtual Cash. Chiraag enjoys Reading& Blogging with focus on New Innovation, Technology & Startups in the Payments Space.

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