Weve expects shareholder backing in ‘Pouch’ initiative

Weve expects shareholder backing in ‘Pouch’ initiative

Weve plans to utilise the marketing power of its shareholders EE, O2 and Vodafone to achieve its ‘ambitious’ opt-in targets set for its new loyalty service, ‘Pouch’.

The proposition launched last week uses beacon technology to notify users of potential loyalty gains. The initial Alpha phase was rolled out to 100 participants and saw Weve team up with EAT to test the new technology. Director of product at Weve, Sean O’Connell (pictured), envisages fast growth for the service.

He said: ‘There are two ways you can do products, you can do ‘big bang’ products which aren’t particularly well tested and they either work or fail disastrously. We take the philosophical approach, and then it’s just a case of getting to a point where we are comfortable enough to push it out aggressively.

‘We want to leverage the marketing muscle of O2, Vodafone and EE to get behind this, so we have ambitious opt-in targets for the end of the year.’

O’Connell added that the three shareholders were ‘really excited’ about how the Pouch fitted in with their wider propositions, although the initiative is still in its infancy. Weve also revealed that it was working with Appflare for the deployment of beacons, which sends opt-in customers information when they are in range of a retailer taking part.

Consumer proposition manager Ryan Barnes added: ‘We’re looking to rollout in phases. Our first phase is closed so next we’ll have a 1,000-person release which we hope to be consumer facing and will lead on the Android platform first. We do have an iOS compatible app as well which will be built parallel, so at the beginning of Q2 Pouch will have a more Beta release on iOS and Android.

‘This process is really testing and learning. As we rollout we’ll have more merchants, more vouchers and more locations, so as that ramps up we’ll have more of a commercial release.’

The move follows Weve’s decision to partner up with MasterCard earlier in the month. Weve CeO David Sear and MasterCard UK and Ireland president Marion King, told Mobile at launch that the collaboration would make mobile payments seamless and cost effective, cutting the price of mobile payments by a ‘factor of ten’.

O’Connell said partnerships were important when attempting to change the fragmented nature of mobile and payments as retailers are faced with a ‘number of different solutions’. He added that anything developed had to be ‘easy’ for the consumer, and collaborations with companies like MasterCard and EAT would help to make the proposition more universal.

He said: ‘Two weeks ago we talked about display, so we launched what we think is the best measurable mobile display media on the market, which is using brand messages to drive people in store. What we’re doing once they’re in store, for example with EAT, is providing little incentives. With our partnership with MasterCard you can then go to the till and tap your phone to pay.

‘What we’re doing is optimising that experience all the way round. It should be a constantly improving, more relevant and high value proposition to consumers.’

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