Yoyo, Soho Coffee Team Up on New Mobile Payments Loyalty App

January 30, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Coffee shop chains these days—and even some mom-and-pop outlets—are all hard-pressed to fend off Starbucks. It’s a challenge, really, especially given that Starbucks has spectacular resources and an almost dizzying array of technological edges. Thus, many such firms are turning to app developers and the like for a little extra edge of their own, and Soho Coffee Co. has done just that recently.

Soho Coffee, based in London, has gotten together with mobile payments system Yoyo to create a combination mobile payments and mobile loyalty app that should get some attention from the region’s coffee drinkers. Soho Coffee counts just 40 units to its credit, but offers up not only handmade food, but also Organic, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee.

The app itself will be available for both iOS and Android devices, and will offer its users not only mobile payments access—a huge benefit in the UK—but also an automated loyalty points system, itemized digital receipts, and even rewards in the form of Soho Coffee product. The system is straightforward enough, with customers getting 100 points for every pound sterling spent. The exact amounts of points required for rewards is as yet unclear, though that will likely be addressed when the program goes fully live.

Soho Coffee’s managing director Penny Manuel noted “Having thought long and hard about how we can best reward our loyal customers, we believe our new in-app points rewards scheme fulfills this simply and conveniently.”

There’s no doubt that Starbucks has a huge lead, and it will husband that advantage jealously with new development and powerful new options. With mobile payments and loyalty programs increasingly table stakes for coffee retail, adding these programs will be important matching items for other coffee retailers. Hopefully those other retailers aren’t too late, but it’s likely going to take more than just matching the competition to do anything more than tread water.

Coffee retail is a tough business, and hopefully, moves like Soho and Yoyo’s will help show the way for other companies to fend off the Starbucks juggernaut.