SIA S.p.A. has acquired 69% (51% acquisition plus capital increase) of UBIQ, a start-up established in 2012 from a spin-off of Parma University, specializing in the design and development of innovative technology solutions, particularly in the field of promotions, where it operates with the brand T-Frutta.
T-Frutta is an app which lets consumers obtain cash-back when they do their grocery shopping every time they choose the products proposed online.
This move is part of SIA’s growth strategy as a technologically advanced company in the digital payments sector also through the acquisition of innovative enterprises and the spread of value- added services via mobile technology. More specifically, the initiative allows SIA to enter the couponing market thanks to the know-how of UBIQ which in 2015, after seven months in business, had reached a turnover of around €800,000.
Through this initiative, on one hand SIA is addressing the consumers who are more disposed to using digital instruments (such as apps, wallets and mobile payments) and interested in tailor-made promotions and, on the other, the brands seeking new ways to contact customers and build their loyalty.
The Italian paper coupons market is worth around €70 million. Over the past year, brands have shown increasing interest in a new tool, the digital coupon, which benefits from a redemption rate higher (35%) than that of a paper coupon (13%).
As far as the development of couponing via mobile is concerned, in May 2015 UBIQ launched T-Frutta, the first app in Italy that enables consumers to earn cash when buying branded products on special offer, simply by photographing their receipt. The cash credit takes place easily and rapidly - by bank current account, PayPal or check - to be spent freely, without any restriction or obligation of new purchase or conversion into vouchers.
T - Frutta utilizes a proprietary, patented software based on a single data recognition technology contained in “speaking” sales receipts (detailing the products bought).
The service - already available in Milan, Modena, Rome, and from the beginning of 2016 also in the Monza-Brianza area - will gradually be extended to the whole country by summer. Seven months on from the launch, there are already around 35,000 active users, with over 112,000 receipts managed meaning cash-backs available to consumers worth more than €300,000.
Thanks to T - Frutta , consumers can earn cash easily and immediately every time they go shopping, choosing brands from among those proposed. Through the T-Frutta system, brands can reach the final consumer directly, promoting their products in an innovative manner to specific customer targets.
There are already approximately 25 big name brands that have placed their products on T - Frutta . These include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Bolton Food, San Pellegrino, Lavazza, Ferrero, Barilla, Grandi Salumifici Italiani, Heineken, Nivea Beiersdorf, Conserve Italia, ParmaReggio, Monini, Ponti, Branca, Campari, Parmalat, Fater, Rana, Alpro and Auricchio.
T - Frutta can be downloaded free from App Store or Google Play. After installing it on a smartphone or tablet, the user can see the product promotions that earn cash. Purchases can be made in all stores which use receipts detailing the products bought. Then the user photographs the receipt and sends it via the app to T-Frutta which, after reading the information contained on the receipt, credits the cash the consumer can receive by a method of their choosing and spend as they wish.
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