One day, we’ll all have a pre-paid account at our favourite store.

Published on 19/11/19

Business and loyalty are 2 words that have always gone well together. The 2 feed each other to form a fruitful collaboration. With this delicate balance, prepaid accounts appear to offer a win-win solution…as much for the retailer as for the client.

The Starbucks example.

The happy owners of a Starbucks card (or its app) not only do not need to take out their wallets to pay for their caffeine hit and they regularly receive little extras too, like whipped cream on their drinks. All they need to do is credit their prepaid account. And that’s how you win a loyal customer, a regular.

Les Habitués (the Regulars) are transforming local shops.

Launched in 2016, Les Habitués is reinventing the old “put it on the slate” system for customers. Here, you don’t pay what you owe later, you top up your account at your favourite stores. It’s simple and intuitive and all done via an app. In terms of customer experience, as soon as the regular enters the shop, they are recognised (which means they can be greeted by name, for example, or asked if their previous purchase was satisfactory). No more scrabbling around for change and wasting time at the till. The purchase is automatically debited and the customer receives their receipt directly on the app. The concept is popular: 50,000 users are signed up as “regulars”, representing almost €15 million in pre-payment. And what about the retailer?

Cash flow and fluidity.

With this system, check out is 4 times faster on average than traditional systems which means less queues and less annoying waiting time. But the most important is that with this system the retailer has cash flow and visibility on their business. This lets them plan ahead and offer free gifts or reductions to loyal customers. It works: the app claims that the average shopping basket is 30% bigger with regulars…and that’s not to mention the good will generated by word of mouth. Loyalty + recommendation…with a prepaid account, everyone wins!

Photo Credits : Les Habitués, Starbucks