Startup of the Week: GoNpay
GoNpay is a mobile wallet which combines different loyalty programs, gift cards, mobile payments, offers from merchants and customer feedback. It works for customers in super simple way. A person just need to scan a bar code from the telephone and with one click he or she will pay and receive all the loyalty benefits. It takes just a few seconds – the consumers do not need to carry any plastic cards anymore. These and many more interesting facts about startup are revealed in this article today by Giedrius Voveris, CEO of “GoNpay”.
What are your competitors and competitive advantages?
Our main competitors actually at the same time are our customers. We are competing with merchant mobile applications (Rimi, Lidl, McDonalds, Starbucks or Walmart). So called close loop application is usually perfect solution for the specific merchant but it causes other issues as consumers have too many apps and do not use them daily.
GoNpay combines different loyalty programs, gift cards in one place and in one application. Therefore instead of carrying many loyalty cards or using different merchant applications you have one mobile application and all benefits at the same time.
What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this product?
The idea to create GoNpay came from our own experience. I was standing many times in front of cashier and looking for a loyalty card in my wallet. And it happened not once that the loyalty card was left at home, in the car or in another jacket. I was asking other people how they are dealing with such situations and I found out that most of people have the same issue.
When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?
We launched our product in August, 2016. The customers loved our product and the main challenge was to convince merchants to add their loyalty cards to our mobile wallet. Most of them find that it is very beneficial to the customer as well as it makes purchase very easy and seamless.
Our customer is a private customer who has a loyalty and payment cards installed into our mobile application. They are in particular motivated to use mobile wallet because they like receiving rewards, discounts, alerts, electronic receipts and pay with mobile phone.
We are targeting the private customers within those primary groups: private individuals described as millenniums and Generation X; consumers who seek quick and advanced payment methods at cashiers; all other individuals who want to get rid of plastic loyalty and payment cards.
We define our target market as loyalty card market plus payment market at the sales points. So we are targeting the business companies that have loyalty programs and aim to provide mobile application for loyalty and payments. GoNpay as a company is providing the unique value proposition for those merchants and therefore help them to streamline sales operations and be up to date with their customers’ expectations.
Currently we are operating in Baltic states, Czechia, Spain but our product is not limited to any specific region so we are planning to expand to other EU countries and USA.
What are main challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming them?
The Customer acquisition is a core challenge for any start-up. But for platforms this is double true, thanks to the chicken-and-egg problem. Consumers won’t come on a platform until they see value provided by merchants, and merchants would not create that value until they see consumers on a platform. It is a case of the classic chicken-and-egg problem where one cannot happen without the other.
We succeeded to attract some very valuable merchants with big customer base and it was good start for us. We gain a lot of experience making thousands operations daily and it was amassing background for further product and company development.
How are you funded? Do you seek extra funding?
Currently the Company is financed by owner’s funds. We are not looking of extra funding at the moment but new funds for sure would help expand to other regions.
Please introduce your founders, your core team and your broader team?
We have a small-dedicated international team of four persons. Our previous experience was development of products or solution for large corporates or banks (Nordea, Societe Generale, Shell). We have extensive expertise in business administration, payments, card processing, retail and particularly loyalty programs, different areas of IT.
How has business been so far? Could you share some numbers to illustrate this (users, sales, etc)?
We have more then 200 merchants on our platform. The number of loyalty cards in our system exceeds 150.000 and we have more than 65.000 users.
Future plans, ambitions? Simply speaking – what’s next?
What next? We do not have big ambitions, may be except to be No. 1 loyalty platform in the world J Company’s vision is to make great shopping experience for consumers. So we try each and every time not to stick to any product, technology or market. It helps us to move forward and look for new opportunities.
In short term we are planning to have out of the box loyalty system for small-midsize companies, target some very particular market segment in all EU, partnership and integration with some mobile payment provider.
Thank you for your answers, Giedrius!