Appy days for loyal coffee drinkers

OLIVIA WANNAN
Last updated 05:00 21/07/2013

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Wallets clogged with half-used loyalty cards are a familiar problem for coffee addicts, but now a group of high school students has developed an alternative.

Last week the cafe 10-trip card was given an e-makeover by five Wellington College students participating in this year's Young Enterprise scheme.

The caffeine fiends had heard of loyalty smartphone apps for major chains, but wondered why there wasn't one accepted everywhere, team managing director Harrison Vaughan, 18, said.

"Our wallets were overflowing with lots and lots of loyalty cards for different cafes. A lot of people end up with multiple cards for the same cafe, two stamps on each one, which is useless."

While one member, Jacob Hawthorne, was learning the ropes of app development, the team decided it was best to get a professional group to build the Loyalty app.

The group, including Ben Means, Josiah Watson and Tao-roi Lupo, managed to convince an Auckland developer to build it for $700.

"There's a QR barcode situated on the cafe counter. You slide across [the app screens] to choose the cafe you're at, then you scan. It takes about half a second to scan it, and that's one stamp."

A message popped up once a customer reached the required number of stamps.

"Next time they're at the cafe, the person at the counter can push redeem and they get whatever the reward was, the free coffee for example, and then their loyalty card is reset."

Other features of the app included searchable menus and special discount messages.

Wellington's Blue Belle Cafe and Home cafe at the National Library had signed up, and the students hoped others would follow suit.

Home cafe owner Liz Means said she had no real choice - her son being one of the team - but thought the idea made a lot of sense.

"All of our younger staff think it's great, as do customers when they hear about it," she said.

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- Sunday Star Times

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