Start-up looking to unlock ‘unspent £6bn’ for brands
Posted on February 12, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox
A start-up founded during COVID-19 is looking to unlock an estimated £6 billion in unspent loyalty points for brands.
London-based Swapi allows people to consolidate all their cards and points in one app then hands them power to swap and spend unwanted rewards with other preferred brands as points, gift cards, offers or products.
Set for launch this summer, it claims to be the only app to provide this swap without the need to buy and sell loyalty currencies, which reduces reward value.
The start-up was founded by leading figures in the loyalty industry. Pete Howroyd, its founder and CEO, has directed some of the world’s best-known loyalty programs during his time working at Harvey Nichols, Harrods, Myer (Australia) and Sigma Healthcare.
CTO Chris Mays specialises in the design and architecture of multi-million-pound SaaS, mobile and point of sale platforms. In his previous role at SVM he was instrumental in delivering B2B loyalty platforms for Tesco, TUI, Halfords and Apple, implementing a gift card fulfilment system.
“I created Swapi as a solution to some of the challenges I see loyalty professionals and brands face every day,” said Howroyd. “Primarily, there was a need to find new and innovative ways to unlock loyalty revenues and get reward cash flowing into businesses.
“Swapi is an ingenious solution to that problem. It’s also completely in step with the needs of today’s consumers, who demand more flexibility and choice from the brands they shop with.
“With £6 billion of unspent loyalty cash sitting on cards across the UK, I also believe Swapi has the potential to inject a considerable amount of new tender into the UK economy, at a time when every brand needs as much revenue as it can get.”
Swapi believes the average UK adult holds £47 worth of unspent points across multiple cards due to the lack of a frictionless experience.
It says brands can gain new customers from the ‘swap’ while also supporting those without their own loyalty scheme, offering Swapi points through card-linked offers, which customers can redeem in the start-up’s marketplace.
It will also integrate with charities to allow people to swap their points for donations to their favourite causes.
With a significant raise already secured privately, Swapi is currently pre-registering interest for a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube.