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Swiss Farms app entices with mobile payments, rewards program

Drive through grocer Swiss Farms is catching up with its competitors following the release of its mobile application with features such as mobile payments, a rewards program and nearby store locators.

With a pre-established rewards program, the app mobilizes the system while incorporating other helpful elements. The new foundation will allow consumers to acquire and track their rewards, likely encouraging more sales and brand loyalty.

“Mobile payments are the future, in one form or another,” said Kevin Butler, marketing manager at Swiss Farms, Philadelphia. “But to some of our customers, they’re the present.

“As we developed our mobile app, we wanted to incorporate true functionality that both provided what our customers were asking for and where the industry was heading,” he said.

“Swiss Farms has always strived to provide ‘A Better Easy’ to customers. Our stores are all drive-thru grocers, and our value lies in taking the burden of shopping off our customers’ shoulders.”

Appealing to those on-the-go
After creating an account, users receive $3 toward their first purchase and can earn further rewards by inviting friends to use the Swiss Farms app.

The rewards program gives users $1 for every $20 spent using mobile payments.

Swiss Farm’s app’s mobile payment system does not use a live payment data, ensuring a safe and secure process.

Instead, the app uses a payment platform managed by LevelUp that adds additional layers of security and fraud protection on top of those provided by the credit or debit card issuer.

The app can be locked with a pin code for added security. If a smartphone is lost, the user can reset the app online, preventing the user from having to cancel their credit card.

Nearby store locations can be accessed through the app and directions to those stores are also provided. Receipts can be stored and referenced later.

Also, the app sends push notifications that contain offers, coupons and sales.

Before the launch of the app, the Farm Fresh member card gave members a 5 percent discount on purchases. Through Farm Fresh, members of pre-registered organizations received a 5 percent discount on purchases, while also earning a 3 percent rebate for their organization on the value of those purchases. The mobile app will replace the Farm Fresh card and widen the eligibility to all customers, yet still allow Farm Fresh users to earn the 3 percent rebate for their organizations.

The future of the app will contain mobile ordering to further simplify the checkout process. Producers hope to see this implementation within the next few months.

Swiss Farms is a drive-through grocer in Pennsylvania with more than ten locations.

Implementing mobile payments
Many recently unveiled mobile apps contain a payment component.  As they become more prevalent, app developers are improving their functionality.

Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, began testing Host Card Emulation for mobile payments, making it the largest bank so far to embrace the burgeoning solution for making tap-and-go payments more widely available.

Android’s cloud-based HCE protocol, which was introduced last year, eliminates requirements to access a secure ship in phones to enable near field communications payments. It has already been embraced by Visa and Mastercard, with a growing number of banks also giving it a close look to see if it is a fit for their own mobile payments strategies (see story).

In the latest example of how fast food restaurants are leading the charge with mobile payments, McDonald’s launched the Quick Mac mobile application to enable customers in Austria to order food and pay for it via their smartphones.

McDonald’s has been aggressively experimenting with a variety of mobile payments strategies in different markets around the world as it looks to unlock the magic formula for delivering the kind of consumer value that will drive adoption. The Quick Mac app is notable for combining a variety of services, including ordering, payments, offers, push notifications and geolocation (see story).

Simplifying the payment process can increase the number of sales by minimizing the amount of people who abandon or avoid the checkout process.

“The mobile app combines our loyalty program, mobile payments, directions to each of our stores and, coming soon, in-app ordering,” said Mr. Butler. “All of these features are meant to make the process of shopping for groceries easier, faster and much more convenient.

“With LevelUp’s mobile app platform, we can also bring an additional level of security to our customers’ transactions,” he said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Commerce Daily, New York