TuYu uses mobile to catch SA up on rewards programmes | DISRUPT

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South Africa is lagging behind Europe and the United States (US) when it comes to rewards and recognition programmes, according to TuYu, which aims to help the country catch up using its mobile platform.

TuYu is a mobile rewards and incentives platform that allows companies to reward their staff or consumers at the click of a button, directly to their mobile phones.

Managing director Ruan Geyser told Disrupt Africa the TuYu platform was developed to be as generic as possible, functioning as a distribution channel for companies and enabling them to build their own programmes on top.

“We wanted to offer companies a turnkey solution that’s reliable, has reporting advantages and alleviates additional workload on HR and Finance – thus a quick, easy and affordable way to reward someone,” he said.

Geyser said employees and consumers want instant gratification, and South Africa’s high mobile penetration rate meant it made perfect sense to use mobile phones as the rewards channel.

TuYu has two main products. Its enterprise solution allows companies to reward a large base of recipients directly to their phones. Recipients can then use their rewards by iOS or Android application, TuYu USSD mobile wallet or SMS rewards.

Its self service portal, on the other hand, is aimed at staff rewards, and enables managers to reward their team members instantly.

“Each manager receives their own login to their dashboard, which is loaded with their full team and their details,” Geyser said.

“Each manager will have their own monthly budget for rewards allocated to them, and they can use their budget on rewards until it’s depleted. It’s as simple as logging in, selecting the employee, entering the amount they would like to reward, adding a message, selecting the notification, and then rewarding. The employee’s mobile wallet is loaded instantly, and they’re can redeem their rewards immediately.”

TuYu was formed in October 2013 purely as a staff rewards and incentives platform, but Geyser and the team quickly large corporates had a need to reward their consumers as well as their employees.

“There’s no easier way to reward your consumers than directly to their mobile phones. This also ensures that companies build accurate databases of their consumers and employees,” Geyser said.

After a few pilots, the startup began developing additional products to cater for the full market.

“Our current solutions fits all segments of the market, and caters for blue-collar workers, all the up to CEOs,” Geyser said.

“Our platform was developed to take on the majority of the workload, which has put us in the position to keep the core team relatively small.”

The startup raised funding through a South African private equity company, and says for the time being it is focused specifically on the country. Expansion is part of the company’s plans, however.

“The fact that we’re integrated to wiGroup’s wiPlatform gives us access to over 55,000 till lanes in South Africa, and also opens the doors to the rest of Africa in future. This is definitely on our roadmap for the next 18 months,” he said.

“We’re really happy with the revenue generated in the first year, and looking forward to 2015 as we have numerous new clients coming onboard and new products, and additional functionality launching soon.”

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