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Loyalty app raises $20 million to build payment capability

Stocard, an app that lets users store loyalty cards on their smartphones, has raised $20 million from local investor, Macquarie Capital, to fund a push into mobile payments and new markets.

The company’s nearly 2.4 million Australian users are expected to be able to pay with the app before the end of calendar year 2018, according to Stocard’s country manager, Radinck van Vollenhoven.

Van Vollenhoven told Internet Retailing the payment feature is intended to improve the customer experience at check-out.

Stocard currently enables users to store loyalty cards on their smartphones and collect points by tapping their device at check-out. But users need to pay for their purchase separately, either with a mobile method like Apple Pay, or cash or card.

When the payment feature launches, users will be able to swipe their phone once to collect loyalty points and a second time to pay.

Radinck van Vollenhoven, Stocard’s country manager for Australia

“The process will be identical to scanning your phone to use your loyalty card. You won’t then have to get out your purse or wallet to pay,” van Vollenhoven said.

New data for retailers

For Stocard’s retail partners, which include Woolworths Group, Wesfarmers and Country Road Group, the payment feature means access to more information about the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

Because in addition to providing users with an easy way to store multiple loyalty cards on their smartphones, Stocard also uses their location data to send relevant offers and discounts from nearby retailers.

The company collects data on whether users swipe their loyalty cards in-store after seeing an offer and shares it with retailers.

“At the moment, we know we drive store traffic and we know there’s a transaction, because the user swipes their card. What we don’t know is exactly what people are purchasing,” van Vollenhoven said.

After the payment feature launches, Stocard will be able to tell retailers exactly what their customers purchased after seeing an offer.

“We will be able to show retailers what customers are spending in-store and link it to marketing campaigns in the app,” he said.

New markets, new staff

The $20 million from Macquarie Capital, with follow-on financing from original investors Shortcut, Alstin, Rocketship (SV), HTGF and Engelhorn, will also fund Stocard’s expansion into new markets.

Started in Germany in 2011, Stocard has recently opened international offices in Australia, Italy and BeNeLux. The company today opened a new office in Paris, France, and is looking to open an office in Toronto, Canada in the coming weeks.

It will also double its team, recruiting 40 new employees globally, across engineering, sales and marketing.

Van Vollenhoven noted that it is unusual for a non-European investor to be the lead investor in a European company, but said Macquarie Capital is well-positioned to provide strategic advice, especially on the Australian retail market.

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