The days of loyalty cards clogging up your wallet could be over.
Whangarei problem solver Paul Sumich has created a loyalty and deals app that allows customers to claim bargains and earn rewards.
Mr Sumich says the idea for the app came about over a couple of drinks last November in celebration of his 40th birthday at a local pizza place.
"We were talking about all of the loyalty cards filling up our bags and wallets, and decided to create a mobile solution to claim back space and keep all of our loyalty points in one place," LYLTY founder Paul Sumich said.
Mr Sumich says the app has a Northland focus as a starting point, with 10 local businesses already signed up. The app is free to download, is paper and plastic card free, and also allows users to create their own list of favourite locations within the app.
The app is all about making the service as easy as possible for users and businesses, he said.
"LYLTY is helping to cut down wallet clutter by consolidating the familiar stack of customer loyalty cards into a single mobile app. Instead of stamps or scans, a pin code is entered at the point of sale to keep track of rewards points.
"This easy and secure system means that the user doesn't need to scan anything and the merchant doesn't need to think about adding any hardware such as an iPad or tablet to their business.
"Because of this, there is a low cost of entry so businesses can utilise the latest technology to compete with the large retailers for a fraction of the cost."
He says the LYLTY app is focused on growth in Northland initially, but as nearly every consumer business is a candidate for a loyalty programme, the company sees great growth potential around the rest of New Zealand.
Mr Sumich, a former bike store/cafe owner in Auckland, says he was familiar with "pain points" from a small retail/service business owners' perspective.
"I realised that the other available platforms either needed a fully integrated POS (point of sale) system, or, the outlet needed to set up an iPad or tablet to capture the customer's purchase details.
"We removed all of that and created a truly mobile based system to make it easy for everyone - and at a lower cost for the business owner."
Mr Sumich, who previously developed the BikeAid and Good Dog Co apps, says he is motivated and inspired by the great success stories of local people who have gone on to do amazing things.
"My store in Auckland was in Britomart, so I knew of [property developer] Peter Cooper (from Kaitaia) and his story, Michael Hill growing from one store in Whangarei, and have just finished reading about Tony Quinn (Zero to 60) and how he had a pet food business in Whangarei and then went on to create VIP Pet Foods and buy a couple of racetracks since then.
"Not at all to put myself in the same league as them, but if this sort of success can come from Northland, then why not me? Too many people ask why, instead of asking why not," he said.
Mr Sumich says listed merchants pay an annual subscription to be part of the app. It is free for users to download and use, and who gain by not needing to carry around as many cards. Merchants gain valuable insights into their customers - "win win!"
Mr Sumich says his The Good Dog Co app, developed in 2015, which allowed dog owners to check which Northland businesses were pooch-friendly, had issues with pain points for businesses, and wasn't financially viable.
It's not currently live but 25,000+ users NZ wide downloaded it, and can still use it.
Mr Sumich says the look and feel of the LYLTY app is all his design - the user interface you'd say - with the coding of the app and some of the back end stuff done with a development partner.
He believes he can make a living from developing apps.
"I really think so," he said. "With the LYLTY app we are solving problems that both users and businesses have.
"Users are happy to ditch the cards and businesses are happy to pay for an easy solution that doesn't take up any space at their location. When we get 200 to 300 Northland businesses on board, we'll be rocking!"
Businesses signed up so far are (in Whangarei): Jolt Cafe and Sciadopitys' Garden Centre in Maunu, La Familia Cafe, Grind Cafe, JJ's Kitchen and Coffee House, AvantiPlus bike shop, Kahvi Cafe, Persona Spa, SmileCare Dental, Pure Bar & Grill, B-Free Products and Services, and Mint Floral.
Visit www.lylty.co.nz for more information.