Pouch, a mobile marketing and loyalty app in the Philippines and Indonesia, is taking another step in a new direction – right into the events space. Started by EasyTouch, a Singapore-based mobile-solutions company, as a mobile loyalty scratchcard, it now has its sights on a bigger prize, the market size of the event industry.
Their new addition, DoorKeeper, is an NFC based solution allowing efficient guest management at any event scale, by managing aspects such as area restrictions, cashless payments, and social media integration.
Through events, they also aim to build a customer base of what they call: a ‘Pouch Community’, that includes people that love to dine outdoors, love discounts, love technology, and love to party. So far, their biggest endeavours have been Drink Up Philippines, Manila’s outdoor drinking festival with a total of 1,800 Guests and 32 Merchants, and Summer Siren Festival, a three-day activity-filled beach festival with over a thousand guests and have three or four events already lined up.
While the use of NFC in events is not unheard of, what DoorKeeper offers puts more meat on the bones. Instead of just providing the service to the event, instead, we have a ready community of merchants to offer event-holders, all ready and willing to use DoorKeeper to its fullest extent.
Pouch Bracelet Technology
All this is made possible with a simple event wristband, their Pouch Bracelet, holding a single NFC chip that when scanned, enables event registration, cashless payment for food or drinks, or provides access to event spaces. It also integrates with the pouch application to enable loyalty and payment options, or allows back-end data analysis and storage. All it takes is one tap.
Their hopes for the Pouch wearable doesn’t just stop there. After all, you can do most anything with a wristband these days. The team at EasyTouch planning to integrate their loyalty programme into your everyday routine as naturally as possible, by making the wearable available for daily use at their family of merchants, much like a wearable loyalty card. Social integration is also an obvious next step, with the wearable synced to Facebook or LinkedIn, depending on the event.
The final step, of course, is to customize the Pouch wearable to be blended into our daily lives, like a watch, keychain, or even a ring. With this level of innovation, the loyalty app market could be revitalized from it’s slump. Imagine being able to get discounts off a cup of coffee from a ring!
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From Market to Saturated Market
Pouch’s expansion into this space may be seen as smart or gusty. The loyalty app market is fast becoming saturated, with Zap, Perxclub, Qoupon, and Mobcard making up a few of many names of mobile loyalty apps fighting for the mobile space in the Philippines. Pouch’s move into the events space is not only innovative, but also complementary to its original product by leveraging the masses in the events space to drive traffic for their merchant community. In fact, they are revamping their app to completely inhabit this strategy, by bringing the events closer to app users.
However, the movement from one saturated market to another may prove risky, making the digital payments market an unlikely next step. When asked about the digital payments space in their main markets of Indonesia and the Philippines, EasyTouch Co-founder Ilya Kravtsov said: “I don’t think anybody has succeeded yet there, so the game is open. Research shows that the mobile in-store payments market size is going to be worth billions.”
From the way things look, Pouch’s success will depend solely on the progression of their wearables. It is possible that these Pouch Bracelets will add the ‘oomph’ back to the loyalty app market, but only if they stay ahead of the curve.