iPhone in Hand Mockup_2

Source: Swapi

Swapi is both an e-wallet for loyalty cards and a digital marketplace

Shoppers can now redeem expired supermarket loyalty points via a newly launched app.

Swapi, a platform that is both an e-wallet for loyalty cards and a marketplace for customers to spend their points, promises to shake up the brand loyalty industry by helping customers give their expired points a second life.

Users can redeem their expired loyalty points and trade them for the in-app currency, ’Swapi points’, which can in turn be used with the marketplace’s nearly 300 affiliated brands – including MorrisonsOcado, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Deliveroo.

For instance, customers who did not have a chance to spend their Morrisons points when the grocer revamped its loyalty scheme in March this year can redeem those points with Swapi and exchange them for Swapi points. Those can then be used again to earn Morrisons rewards available on the app. 

Swapi founder and CEO Pete Howroyd told The Grocer the aim was to tackle not just the financial impact of expired points, but also its impact on relationships between shoppers and brands by reconnecting the two parties.

“There is no person on this planet that likes to have something taken off them once they’ve been awarded it and it can really damage the relationship between brands and customers if you take someone’s reward away,” Howroyd said.

Howroyd, who has worked in customer loyalty for over 15 years for the likes of Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Morrisons, came up with the idea for Swapi after realising the industry “hasn’t really seen much innovation in a long time”.

“If you’re running a loyalty programme, you have to hold the liability at a cost on the balance sheet,” he said. “And as the pandemic highlighted, businesses that can’t remove the liability through spend end up suffering because they have to class that as a cost on the P&L.”

Swapi makes it easier for shoppers to manage their different loyalty cards and spend points across different retailers in the same digital marketplace.

The aggregated digital marketplace model has the benefit of allowing brands to directly target new customers at a low cost, but customers can also rack up Swapi’s own points each time they buy something with one of the affiliated brands through the app.

Howroyd said his goal was to make Swapi an ecosystem where users can swap loyalty currencies between different programmes, allowing for a greater choice for consumers while removing loyalty liability for brands.

“As we start to integrate with the loyalty programmes, you’ll be able to see the balance of all your programmes come through as well and so that means that you won’t need all these different apps on your phone – you can manage it all in one place,” he said. “I am sure we will see customers and retailers soon reaping the rewards.”

In the future, Swapi will eventually move from being just a loyalty wallet to an exchange portal where people can trade their points for other currencies, such as cryptocurrency, and even swap balances across gift cards.

The company has already raked in £860,000 in pre-seed funding and is expecting to raise a further £2m once the seed funding round opens next week.

Howroyd said he anticipated the investment round to be oversubscribed as it had already received a “massive amount of interest”.

“There are a lot of investors who have been waiting for some innovation in loyalty for a long time.”