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UAE startup takes home US$50K top prize from Visa’s
Everywhere Initiative finals

Saturday 14 October 2017



Dubai - MENA Herald: Visa (NYSE:V), the world’s leader in digital payments, has selected a tech startup based in the United Arab Emirates as the winner of its Everywhere Initiative, a global program designed to encourage the development of the next big thing in payments. The winning mobile payment solution beat 12 other finalists selected from 190 entrants to emerge as the champions in the first ever Middle East and North Africa edition of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative program.

The program is structured around three real life business challenges: enabling electronic payment acceptance among smaller merchants and providing secure eCommerce solutions; transforming the transit experience at airports; and building customer loyalty through the right offers at the right time.

Qpal has developed a mobile payments solution to speed up payments for food and beverages at events compared with conventional cash methods, thus maximizing event revenues by shortening queues. The UAE-based startup won both the “Acceptance Challenge” as well as the overall prize for its idea. The company took home US$50,000 and the opportunity to work with the team at Visa’s Innovation Center in Dubai to develop the concept further.

Swvl, an Egyptian private commuter shuttle service helping travelers find the smartest routes across cities to airport hubs, among other destinations, for a flat fare, won the “Airport Transit Challenge” and $25,000.

Bebuzzd, another UAE-based startup, has developed a one-stop shop for users who can pay merchants directly from the mobile application while earning and redeeming points for their purchases. It also serves as a customer acquisition platform for small and medium enterprises. It won the “Loyalty Challenge” and a $25,000 prize.

Shiv Singh, SVP Innovation & Strategic Partnerships at Visa, said: “We have had the privilege of working with some of the best minds in the region over the last few months and have selected three category winners with the potential to truly change the way people pay in the region. We congratulate Qpal, Swvl, and Bebuzzd and thank all the finalists for participating in the Everywhere Initiative, and we wish them success in the future.”

He added: “The future of digital payments will be shaped through collaboration and we look forward to working with our startup partners to transform the payments landscape over the coming years to the benefit of consumers, merchants and issuers alike.”

Ihab Ayoub, GM for MENA at Visa, said: “Visa is proud to play its part in enabling a smart economy powered by cashless, secure digital payments across the GCC and the wider MENA region. We remain committed to this vision by collaborating with passionate minds across the region, and fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem in which innovators thrive. We are excited to build on the technologies that have secured the top positions in each of these challenges, and making them a reality for consumers in the near future.”

Pankaj Kundra, Senior Vice President, - Payments and Personal Banking, Mashreq Bank UAE also one of Panel Judges for the event, said: “It is a unique initiative from Visa to engage with the start-up community across the region. With innovation one of the cornerstones of our organization, Mashreq is proud to be part of an event that places such an interest in the region’s growth and talent development. With so many ideas showcased, that address real world challenges, I am personally excited to see them go live. With the success of these ideas, we are one step closer to proving that we have the right environment for innovation to flourish.”

Ihab Ayoub, GM for MENA at Visa, said: “Visa is proud to play its part in enabling a smart economy powered by cashless, secure digital payments across the GCC and the wider MENA region. We remain committed to this vision by collaborating with passionate minds across the region, and fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem in which innovators thrive. We are excited to build on the technologies that have secured the top positions in each of these challenges, and making them a reality for consumers in the near future.”

Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is a global program designed to support the company’s goal of fostering the growth of next generation payment technologies. This is the first time Visa has rolled out its Everywhere Initiative in MENA. To date, nearly 1,500 fintech startups from across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia have participated.

Source: Mena herald

Bebuzzd bullish on increasing UAE retailer partner network to 2,000 outlets by end of 2017

Published Thursday 2, March 2017



Dubai – MENA Herald: Bebuzzd, a new Dubai-based multi-store mobile app loyalty program, has expressed optimism in further growing its UAE retailer partner network to 2,000 outlets by the end of this year. Since its launch, more than 55,000 users have downloaded and are now utilizing the app to get good deals and incentives from businesses they regularly patronize in the UAE. The Bebuzzd partner network currently consists of 200 outlets, which range from restaurants, salons, spas, medical clinics, perfume, flower and pet shops. These partners have seen an average growth percentage of more than 40 per cent in the last six months that they have joined up with Bebuzzd. To date, Bebuzzd is the only UAE-based network that gives 20 to 30 per cent back to customers of the loyalty app’s partners–and in best cases, have managed to provide 65 per cent cash back on their next purchase. Bebuzzd initiates advantageous buying behaviors for members. Partners who have joined the network are poised to gain a 4 to 12 per cent boost in profit, as a result of encouraging around 20 per cent of customers to return and patronize them. The program helps businesses maximize the lifetime of a customer by increasing retention. While it is easy to believe that simply having a high-quality product or service will create customer loyalty, the truth is that customers are in high demand so loyalty is something that must be earned over and over again.

“If you carefully analyze the country’s local market, around 70 to 80 per cent of SMEs present do not have any form of loyalty program or strategy. With this in mind, Bebuzzd is looking to address this challenge–providing them with a solution that can help sustain customers,” said Sandeep Nair, Director – Business Relationship & Strategic Partnerships – Middle East, Bebuzzd. “Businesses who have joined our retail partner network have been witnessing an increase in their revenue by increasing customer lifetime value (CLV), which is the amount a customer spends in their ‘lifetime’ with the partner’s outlet. These loyalty programs create a constantly growing affiliation between customers and their brand, resulting in an increased frequency of return to make purchases. Similarly, as their frequency of purchase grows they will also increase the amount, or the basket-size, of their purchase per-visit.”

On average, members generally outspend other guests by five per cent per visit. Incentives from the loyalty programs drives changes to buying behaviors, which translates to program members spending more than non-members at each visit. Members not only spend more when they visit, they also visit about 20 per cent more. Increasing visit frequency stands at the core of every loyalty program. By joining your loyalty program, guests declare that partner outlets are a preferred destination. Membership in the program keeps partner brands at the top-of-mind of guests constantly.

An example of the success received from joining the Bebuzzd partner network can be seen in Lila Café. George Kattouf, Restaurant Manager of the establishment said, “Joining the retail partner network of Bebuzzd has driven in positive results for us. It has helped us keep our members engaged and active with our offers and programs We offer a daily lunch buffet during weekdays, with our main customers composed mainly of people also working in the same building where we are located. I am pleased to report that about 60 per cent of our regular customers are coming more often than they usually do. The driving factors are the collection of points–putting this mindset to the customers that what they are spending is for nothing as in the end, they get to have some rewards out of it. People like rewards and make an effort to achieve them, which in this case is collecting points.”

“Bebuzzd is unique because it is designed with the idea of having a loyalty app with more than one outlet, accessing a bulk of try me offers. The key incentives and promotions being offered by our partners have encouraged users to buy more and visit more. At the pace of growth that they are experiencing, our partners can drive incremental member visits by more than 10 per cent monthly. Periodically sending relevant offers by using Bebuzzd Electronic Voucher to their members, merchants can now increase even more clients visit frequency and influence their buying behaviors,” concluded Nair.

Source: Mena herald

Bebuzzd to drive digital transformation among SMEs in Dubai

Published December 29, 2016



Blackhawk Solutions DMCC has launched a digital loyalty programme dubbed Bebuzzd to urge SMEs to step up its efforts towards digital transformation.

The digital loyalty program was designed and developed with the aim of providing support and help for SMBs to excel, which in effect will enable companies to be able to work directly with customers while also exercising control over their business.

Recent research has identified that some key barriers in the move to drive new business via digital concepts and approaches, which includes lack of awareness, unclear targeting, fear, uncertainty, doubt, the complexity factor, technology and resource gaps and deterrent costs.

Blackhawk Solutions DMCC reveals that businesses partnering with Bebuzzd are likely to see key benefits and advantages through its offer of doing business with digital tools and technologies that have in-built analytics capability. Furthermore, benefits include, 80% reduction in manual data entry, less error and operational costs while productivity can go up by 30%, through the help of CRM analytics and proper training.

Nikola Cabarkapa, corporate business development consultant, Bebuzzd, said: "The digital world is a key enabler of competitiveness and innovation. As such, local SME businesses that have embraced digital technology can now better understand customer loyalty and preferences, which results in growth from companies that have not fully understood the power of digital marketing.

"SME businesses in Dubai lack the right kind of awareness to effectively use and capitalise the digital space to increase business and evaluate customer satisfaction. To address this, Bebuzzd is now making efforts to bridge this gap at such a critical time in the market. To date, there is no other loyalty program in the market offering value-added services to SME businesses in Dubai like we do."

As a value-added offering, Bebuzzd has revealed that it is offering SME's skills training in digital transformation, from emailing vouchers, to more complex CRM, the Bebuzzd Loyalty program is reducing costs for start-ups and small businesses.

Bebuzzd is now offering SME staff to be trained to understand and use the data collected through sales, online search, social and mobile, in a move to better understand consumer response, optimise business opportunities and gain a competitive edge over its competition.

Source: Mena herald

UAE loyalty programs must be reimagined; Bebuzzd

Published October 31, 2016



Bebuzzd has stated loyalty programs in the UAE must be reimagined to increase consumer engagement to add value to its services.

The statement comes as a retail industry reports forecasted that the global loyalty management market is poised to be worth over $4bn by 2020. The growth is linked to the constant change in consumer demographics, enhance mobile technologies and increased number of cardholders.

According to Bebuzzd senior executives, the strong focus placed on customer behaviour, segmentation and engagement has driven the need for improved and enhanced customer loyalty programs. Bebuzzd, which is a multi-store digital loyalty program app, rewards points to customers and promotes local businesses. Plus businesses that are affiliated with Bebuzzd will now find it easier to connect with their customers, through the Bebuzzd Manager's app, which helps in retaining existing customers and turn new customers into loyal ones.

Shan Abdul Salam, CTO, Bebuzzd, said: "Mobile phones and other mobile gadgets are now changing the retail and shopping landscape. Today, people are now more connected than ever and have learned to use their mobile phones, as a tool to help them in determining the optimal balance of price and quality, allowing them to come up with a better decision making process on the purchases they make.

"Bebuzzd Manager's app was developed as a tool for businesses to understand their customers better, using the app managers can send customized digital vouchers, offers, event notifications with just one click through a digital clock. If the customer cannot make it, the voucher can always be transferred to a friend digitally."

Source: ITP.net


UAE loyalty programs must be reimagined; Bebuzzd

Published October 31, 2016



Bebuzzd has stated loyalty programs in the UAE must be reimagined to increase consumer engagement to add value to its services.

The statement comes as a retail industry reports forecasted that the global loyalty management market is poised to be worth over $4bn by 2020. The growth is linked to the constant change in consumer demographics, enhance mobile technologies and increased number of cardholders.

According to Bebuzzd senior executives, the strong focus placed on customer behaviour, segmentation and engagement has driven the need for improved and enhanced customer loyalty programs. Bebuzzd, which is a multi-store digital loyalty program app, rewards points to customers and promotes local businesses. Plus businesses that are affiliated with Bebuzzd will now find it easier to connect with their customers, through the Bebuzzd Manager's app, which helps in retaining existing customers and turn new customers into loyal ones.

Shan Abdul Salam, CTO, Bebuzzd, said: "Mobile phones and other mobile gadgets are now changing the retail and shopping landscape. Today, people are now more connected than ever and have learned to use their mobile phones, as a tool to help them in determining the optimal balance of price and quality, allowing them to come up with a better decision making process on the purchases they make.

"Bebuzzd Manager's app was developed as a tool for businesses to understand their customers better, using the app managers can send customized digital vouchers, offers, event notifications with just one click through a digital clock. If the customer cannot make it, the voucher can always be transferred to a friend digitally."

Source: ITP.net

Bebuzzd set to revolutionize loyalty programs in the UAE

Thursday 20, October 2016



Bebuzzd, a new multi-store digital loyalty program, launched by Blackhawk Solutions DMCC, a leading IT company based in Dubai, aims to provide local businesses with a simpler way to manage a cost-effective loyalty program.

The unique system would allow all businesses to be part of Bebuzzd, thus, helping consumers integrate a loyalty program to one single common platform. The strategic launch of the program comes in the wake of recent industry reports suggesting that UAE residents, both expatriates and Emiratis, spend more than five hours a day using social media - with 29 per cent accessing six to ten apps installed on their smartphones and other gadgets. With Bebuzzd, UAE consumers will benefit in terms of receiving key value additions and attractive incentives.

With this unique program, customers are at one’s fingertip. This app is programmed to send customized digital vouchers, offers, event notifications to its customers with just one click through a digital clock. If your customer cannot make it, he can always transfer it to his friend digitally. Bebuzzd Manager’s app is touted as the strongest tool ever developed by the company, which would help managers to monitor their business even when they are travelling. It would ensure that none of the customers’ feedback goes unattended. Every feedback is received on the Manager’s app, which allows him to take action and respond live. Not just that, if a business or a company is running an offer or a promotion, Bebuzzd can send its customers the picture of the offer and provide live feedback about the effectiveness of the promotion with no additional cost.

According to Abdul Nazeer, CEO of Bebuzzd, “Traditional loyalty programs as we know them today, have reached the limit of their utility for both the consumers and for the merchants. They just do not stimulate loyalty anymore because customer’s earnings are

fragmented across too many accounts, and that`s why merchants do not benefit. Customers are showing apathy to traditional concept (too complicated or demanding process of registration, hard to use, one more plastic or paper card in your wallet, and so on). It is in this context, we realised the importance to keep shoppers happy and to ensure that they keep coming back.’’

Nazeer quickly adds that the company conducted a survey that suggests that it costs 500 per cent more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones and that cost of bringing a new customer up to the same level of profitability as an old one is up to 16 times more.

Bebuzzd is meant to relieve consumers from carrying loyalty cards in their wallet. This new app represents an understanding of the fact that customer loyalty programs need to be reimagined around common and traditional loyalty concepts in order to dramatically extend their value and increase participation among consumers. Bebuzzd has adopted the strength of a coalition loyalty program--creating a digital community of unique brands and businesses.

“Everyone is digital today. Just like the rest of the world, the UAE and Dubai are being taken over by the mobile revolution as well. Take a look at the fact that in 2016, mobile subscribers exceeding 16 million subscriptions and mobile penetration of nearly 200 per cent, there is no wonder that the UAE is considered the second largest m-commerce market in the world," concluded Mujeeb Rahman, COO, Bebuzzd.

Source:pocketnewsalert