Never forget your receipt says New Zealand startup
Posted on 17-May-2012 11:47
Filed under: News
The world of retail is being hit upon by a wave of new innovations for retailers and their customers, including cloud based Point of Sale software, smart-phone payment technology (NFC) and other new industry upgrades and improvements.
Yet within this hype of new industry products, there is little movement for the receipt side of the transaction. Now, Wellington based company PAPERKUT is taking on wasteful paper receipts with its new initiative called Free Your Wallet.
PAPERKUT Paperless Receipts is all about taking receipts and putting them into a digital format, allowing access anytime from anywhere. “It’s a white-label platform to remove paper receipts from being an unfriendly and degrading piece of paper, and moving them into a new digital medium allowing better handling of information,” says PAPERKUT CTO Drew Broadley.
Integrating with the best of in-store and online Point of Sale vendors such as VendHQ (a New Zealand built cloud-based PoS), PAPERKUT is growing its reach every week. Unlike other initiatives, PAPERKUT is available to work with independent stores and large retail chains, as well as researching and prototyping ways to get the local fish and chip shop onboard too.
Two years after the initial idea was seeded, and winning ‘Highly Commended’ award in the Innovation Category at the Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards the company, PAPERKUT Paperless Receipts is launching a trial under their Free Your Wallet brand.
“Free Your Wallet (freeyourwallet.co.nz) allows you to automatically store digital copies of your receipts in a dedicated online account, where you can view and organise your receipts in case you need to return an item or submit an expense claim,” explains PAPERKUT CEO Nick Harley. “We do not stop you from receiving a paper receipt if you would like one, knowing people will start favouring the change over time, but If you lose your receipt, you’ll always have a copy backed up securely online in the cloud. We work with multiple partners and services to bring all of your receipts together automatically, whether it is a high street store, online store, public transport service or other situation where you receive a receipt or statement.”
The company naturally promotes the environmentally friendly benefits of not having to print paper receipts, but their unique, innovative approach means there is no change to customers normal shopping habits and customer privacy is put under strict control.
“That is something we focused on from an early stage.” Broadley says. “We don’t rely on you providing an email address in-store to receive your receipt, or get customers to take photos of receipts with their smartphone/tablets. That’s just time-consuming and adds a behavioural change to the process. Handing over your email address to retailers creates a lot of problems for customers and the retailer with regards to privacy.
With our system, you simply make a purchase as normal with the retailer, and the technology allows the receipt to appear seamlessly in your account. As for signing up, it’s quick, free and we do not take any personally identifiable information, which means customers remain anonymous and privacy issues are eliminated.”
PAPERKUT has received help from business growth managers at Grow Wellington and has been part funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI) through the TechNZ grant scheme. The company will look to produce a smartphone specific version and premium features in the next few months, whilst improving their targeted deals functionality.
PAPERKUT has also seen an opportunity in offering a low cost loyalty and deal platform for retailers, allowing them to replace or add to their loyalty system with an achievement based product.
Any retailer connected to the PAPERKUT network can offer paperless receipts to their customers and also pre-set deals and offers dependant on customer spending behaviour, time elapsed since last purchase, or even reward the highest spender for the month. We give retailers an easy and safe way for them to connect with their customers. PAPERKUT likens the potential of this loyalty and deal product to the model often seen in gaming platforms, which offer rewards to users based on goals and targets.
”There are lots of companies offering rewards and incentives for you to spend money,” Harley explains, ”But a lot of people find the majority of deals available are of no interest to them. By using our customer focused service, Free Your Wallet, we allow customers to see deals that they want to see, and are personalised to the things they like to buy. You’re spending money anyway, so you may as well be rewarded for it. Deals can be turned on and off and puts the customer in control of advertisements from retailers.”
The company is now gearing up to trial the service with stores in the Wellington CBD and is currently working on adding further partners, they are also talking with major retail chains.
“We had to provide value to retailers in order for them to want to offer paperless receipts for their customers. So we looked at ways to achieve this and came up with a great business model, giving retailers ways to gain more customers and increase loyalty, which is ultimately what any retailer wants.” Harley explains.