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20 FEBRUARY 2019


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Friday, 05 May 2017 12:03
Meet the Sponsors
Interview with Alain Falys, co-founder and CEO of Loyalty Magazine Awards 2017 sponsor Yoyo

Yoyo Wallet has been in existence since 2013 and is one of the most popular digital applications in the UK, offering mobile payment, digital loyalty, pre-ordering and personalised customer interactions.

As the UK’s fastest growing mobile wallet, it is currently used at more than 200 corporate head offices and over 50 universities all over the country. The list of corporations includes JP Morgan, Visa, Accenture, HP, and the universities include York, Birmingham and Imperial College London.

Last November it was adopted by Planet Organic as their mobile payment and loyalty programme and in April, it stormed into virtually every High Street in the UK after building and powering the Caffè Nero mobile app, which is currently riding high in both the iOS and Android app stores.

The co-founder and CEO of Yoyo is Alain Falys (right) and he talked to us about the Yoyo proposition.

Loyalty Magazine: What is it you are trying to achieve with Yoyo Wallet?

Alain Falys: We’re on a mission to revolutionise the bricks & mortar retail experience for both the retailers and their customers.

For the public, that means delivering real innovation of the mobile wallet, taking it beyond just payment. We believe the smartphone should deliver fast, mobile payment alongside automatic loyalty collection, pre-ordering and exclusive offers personalised to a user's previous purchasing behaviours.

Doesn't this lead to complexity?

Quite the opposite. Simplicity is important for the consumer – one single scan is all that is required. Anything more difficult and they will stick with what they know best. It is also important for the barista or cashier. They don't want to fiddle with either stamp cards or complicated systems. We often forget the cashier. Yoyo becomes the big pink button on the till. That is all.

What is the main benefit of a mobile app for payment and loyalty?
For consumers, Yoyo provides a simple, secure payment and loyalty experience at the point of sale that solves all the pain points we are sadly still accustomed to: unsecure payment, queuing, lost loyalty, irrelevant offers from loyalty schemes.

For retailers, Yoyo provides customer identification, previously the privilege of only the largest, most capital-rich brands such as Tesco Clubcard. Through Yoyo, retailers of all sizes can identify every customer at the point-of-sale and connect them to their SKU data, turning anonymous shoppers into individuals with purchasing habits and preferences. We then provide retailers with a platform to analyse, segment and engage their customers, which will transform the bricks & mortar retail world.

What is the role of a service provider in implementing a mobile wallet app?
The majority of ePos software providers are already integrated with Yoyo, but if the ePOS system needs upgrading to accept Yoyo, we help with that. We work with the retailer in partnership, and adapt to their legacy ePOS environment. The reality is that this is something we take care of and shield the customer from the complexities involved.

Yoyo uses a QR code. How does this work and is it secure?

With or without connectivity, our QR code changes every thirty seconds. This ‘dynamic’ QR code approach in conjunction with our tokenisation system makes Yoyo extremely secure, reducing fraud and ensuring no personal data is ever stored on the phone.

You have two significant names on the High Street now with Planet Organic and Caffè Nero. What is coming next?

One month ago, we reached our ten millionth transaction and with several more implementations expected in the coming weeks we’ll be hitting 20 million transactions in no time.

Why is the loyalty element so important to mobile wallets?

Innovation in payment has not brought any real change to the retail landscape. Advancements in loyalty are where significant brand differentiation and value can be added to the customer experience. Loyalty shouldn’t be restricted to the idea of a stamp on a card. Today it is an avenue to having personalised interactions with customers on a mass scale.

Our mission is to identify every customer at the point of sale, and mobile payment, integrated with a 21st century loyalty programme, is the most effective way of doing this.

You say on your website that it was a Starbucks experience that set you off on your Yoyo journey. Is Starbucks still your inspiration?
Whilst Starbucks was the original inspiration, we are not competing with Starbucks who have their own proprietary app, we are enabling every other retail chain to embark on their mobile journey with the best tools available, and fast.

We believe we have a superior proposition and a cursory glance at the app store reviews for Yoyo or the Caffè Nero app we built and run reflect this. We already have a few Starbucks stores that accept Yoyo and we hope that we will see wider acceptance soon.

Who are your competitors?
Originally, we looked at PayPal as our main competitor but they are now concentrating on the online space. There has been a lot of noise around mobile wallets over the last few years but many contenders have now come and gone, primarily because they provided no tangible value to retailers or consumers.

We are well funded, we are expanding internationally from the sophisticated UK market and we have demonstrable traction on the market. Yoyo offers retailers immediacy, and the ability to combine many features, such as click and collect, personalised communications and loyalty only. We are catering for many different retail verticals, and this breadth gives us a richer roadmap. Our investment is in the tools to leverage basket data, to create personalised marketing, and to enable retailers to know exactly who their customers are and what they buy on a person-by-person basis.

The market has now matured and this is the start of a new era. Every retailer you speak to will have some form of digital mobile strategy in mind, even if they haven't started yet. It is exciting times.

What are your online plans?

Watch this space!

Meet Yoyo at The Loyalty Magazine Awards 2017 in London on June 20.
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