Weve quietly cans Pouch app as it looks to new loyalty initiatives

Weve, the mobile advertising and payments joint venture between the UK’s three largest mobile operators, has dropped its Pouch loyalty app and says it looking at different mobile commerce areas focused around beacon technology and data analytics as it looks to new ways of providing value to brands.

Weve has canned its Pouch loyalty app.
Weve has canned its Pouch loyalty app.

Weve launched the app in February last year, bringing food chain Eat on board to test the app at two of its locations. The app, which launched on iOS and Android, stored loyalty cards, vouchers and other content, as well as connecting to beacons to allow retailers to target in-store customers with relevant messages.

The aim at launch was to scale up the trial to more customers and bring on board further retailers, at which time Weve would announce marketing plans. The expectation was that Weve’s joint shareholders EE, O2 and Vodafone would add their own branding to the app: “Pouch from EE”, for example.

However none of this materialised. Pouch has been pulled from both Google and Apple’s app stores and the website shut down. Eat declined to comment on the outcome of the trial.

A Weve spokeswoman confirmed the Pouch shutdown, saying Weve is “moving its mobile commerce focus into different areas”.

“Our Pouch trials and alpha programme yielded an enormous amount of information and insight into the current state of the market for digital loyalty, mobile payments, vouchering and location-based marketing.

“We remain very interested in ways that sophisticated data techniques and beacon technologies can increase engagement and retention with consumers. We’ve’s data is particularly valuable when matched and we think there is great potential here.”

Marketing Week understands EE, O2 and Vodafone would prefer to further develop their own loyalty offerings and are increasingly keen to keep their data to themselves.

In May Vodafone added a loyalty feature to its mobile wallet, allowing customers to electronically load their plastic loyalty cards to Vodafone’s mobile app. O2 has a service that offers customers rewards and discounts based on their location.

Weve says it is “working hard” on extracting that data potential to offer brands further data analytics capabilities and an “even stronger media offering”.

Weve wouldn’t be drawn on what its plans are expect to say that it is working on a new loyalty initiative that follows from Pouch. The company has just trademarked a number of new possible services – including WeDiscover, WeWatch and WeLocate that hint at services based around location services.

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