UK-based mobile wallet app Yoyo Wallet has quietly brought their mobile payment technology to the U.S. and has been stealthily rolling out services with select partners in a private beta.
The company is planning its official launch in the first quarter of 2016.
Beyond basic card payments, the Yoyo wallet provides loyalty programs and rewards offerings it can automatically deliver to customers based on buying patterns.
Vendors using Yoyo can also offer discounts to Yoyo wallet users to try and attract new business.
The U.S. expansion follows the company’s $10 million Series A round, which was raised from investors including: Taavet Hinrikus, one of the brains behind the runaway European fintech success story, TransferWise; and seed investor Imperial Innovations, the venture fund founded by the Imperial College of London for technology transfers.
In fact, Imperial College is where Yoyo first began hawking its new wallet technology in 2014. From there the company expanded to 15 other British universities and other sales centers (like office parks or cafeterias).
From those roots the company now processes 200,000 monthly transactions in the UK, making it the second most popular payment app after Starbucks.
Yoyo Wallet’s co-founder, Alain Falys argues that none of the large payment application providers like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or PayPal are offering additional point of sale or loyalty services, which is what differentiates his company from the pack.
Using the wallet, U.S. retailers can accept mobile payments and automate loyalty and rewards programs, create their own flash sales and receive data on purchases made through the app.
Like every most payment applications, the company uses QR codes. A user preloads money onto the Yoyo wallet and then a QR code is generated at the point of sale for each transaction. Retailers scan the code to receive payment.
According to the company’s founders, Yoyo is already working with select food service providers in the U.S. and will pursue a similar strategy to its UK expansion — working with corporate and college campuses as its first beachhead into the U.S. market.