Imperial College London has become the UK's first university to allow people to pay for goods on campus without cash and receive rewards - just by using an app on their mobile phones, eliminating the need to carry cash and loyalty stamp cards.
Yoyo, a London-based mobile payment and loyalty app, is accepted across the university's entire South Kensington campus, following a partnership with Imperial College London and nationwide EPoS company, pointOne. The app serves over 20,000 students and staff within 32 retail outlets and counting, including cafes, bars and shops.
User numbers have grown to more than 4,000 people since it was integrated into Imperial College London's till systems at the start of the year, and the payment and loyalty app is already out-performing contactless cards across the campus, handling in excess of 30,000 transactions each month growing.
Jemma Morris, Head of Catering Operations at Imperial College London said: "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. We were particularly impressed with the speed and simplicity of Yoyo, and are pleased that there has been such a positive reaction to the app by both staff and students."
Yoyo Co-Founder Michael Rolph, commented: "There is a perception that there are millions of companies out there who do what Yoyo does, but the fact is that Yoyo is the only app combining payment and loyalty to make mobile relevant for in-store retail. With Yoyo, retailers sell more, waste less and provide a great customer experience. We're really pleased to be providing Imperial's staff, students and visitors with a simple way to buy goods, earn rewards and share them using their mobile phones."
Announcing a partnership with Yoyo today, pointOne EPoS is a nationwide EPoS company that develops its own solutions and offers support and installation services. Its customers include Tossed, Pieminster, Coffee Republic, Tortilla and other high street retailers. Yoyo rolled out with pointOne across the Imperial College London campus, earlier this year.
Steven Rolfe, Managingg Director, pointOne EPoS, said: "The partnership with Yoyo demonstrates our commitment to delivering products and services to our customers that realise their true potential. Yoyo's mobile payment and loyalty application enables retailers to harness a fast growing technology that will increase footfall and average spend per head. Sharing many synergies, we both have a passion for offering innovative hospitality solutions and we will work closely together to offer a unique solution to retailers."
Michael Rolph, added: "We believe that innovative EPoS vendors like pointOn are best-placed to service retailers' PoS needs. Adding the ability to accept Yoyo highlights that a collaborative approach is the best way for retailers to maximise value without having to make costly investment. By working with existing EPoS providers, Yoyo is able to focus on helping retailers sell more and provide a great customer experience."
The average transaction across Imperial College London retail outlets (which include Imperial College Union and Taste Imperial) is £3.08. Current sales figures include:
• 2,658 lattes
• 2,501 bottles of water
• 1,498 cups of tea
Founded in 2013 by Alain Falys (founder of OB10, ex Visa), Dave Nicholson (Founder of Zopa, ex Egg) and Michael Rolph (ex PayPal, Barclaycard and First Data), Yoyo aims to create a better customer experience using an app which simplifies payment and loyalty transactions.
For retailers, Yoyo provides a marketing platform that enables digital customer engagement in-store. The platform gives retailers a set of tools which enable them to better target their customers with relevant rewards, offers and incentives.
Users download Yoyo on the App Store or GooglePlay, and attach a funding method to top-up their account. Yoyo uses a unique QR-code for each transaction which is scanned at the point of sale using a QR-code scanner. Users collect loyalty points automatically in the app and can receive offers and promotions from the retailers they favour. No need for cash or loyalty stamp cards.
Yoyo will be rolling out across many of London and the UK's leading universities before the new academic year, and is also in discussions with a number of high street retailers.
Earlier this month, Yoyo participated in Pitch @ Palace, an initiative run by The Duke Of York in support of early-stage entrepreneurship. The app collected two out of three awards, including 'Best Pitch' and 'Most Innovative Idea'.