By Kristy Dorsey

Glasgow-based Swipii, the digital loyalty programme, will expand into Edinburgh by the end of this year with £1 million of fresh funding.

The move follows the introduction of the third iteration of Swipii’s customer loyalty technology, which is designed to give small businesses access to the advantages of programmes like the Tesco Clubcard operated by major retailers. Swipii co-founder Louis Schena said the company’s new cashback system is now a truly “frictionless” consumer experience.

The fresh funding has been provided by Scottish private capital firm Par Equity, an existing investor in Swipii. Par Equity led a £1.9m pre-scaleup funding round concluded last year, with additional support from the Scottish Investment Bank, Green Shores Capital and follow-up money from previous investors.

Set up in 2014, Swipii originally operated off of a tablet-based client relationship management (CRM) platform. Customers checked in with their Swipii key fob or card on a tablet based near the checkout at participating retailers to earn points towards rewards.

This was replaced in 2018 with the Swipii app, which uses card linking technology. This allowed users to automatically collect points whenever they paid with a regular debit card registered through the app, eliminating the need to carry multiple different loyalty cards.

Swipii has now ditched points in favour of a strictly cashback system that automatically transfers money directly into consumers’ accounts. Varying between 1% and 16% of each purchase – depending on what the retailer chooses – this eliminates the hassle often associated with redeeming reward points.

“Our ultimate goal is to help businesses of all shapes and sizes to thrive on our high streets,” Mr Schena said.

“We can only do that if we offer a product that is ten times easier to use and offer ten times more value to consumers and retailers, than anything already out there today.”

Swipii will spend the next three months honing the user experience for its business users. This will look at ways to increase the frequency of return visits to a shop, increasing the spend per shop, and a referral system to attract new customers.

When that is complete, Swipii will then make its move into Edinburgh. Launches in multiple cities across the UK are then planned.

Swipii currently employs about 20 people, having recently hired Neil Ross, the former senior engineering manager at Skyscanner, as its new lead engineer. Nearly 100 SMEs in the G1 and G2 postcodes currently offer cashback through Swipii to what Mr Schena said numbered “thousands” of users.