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After 15 of startup experience: This expert wants to digitize the business with loyalty cards

Rewe, Karstadt, Ikea: In Germany, several retailers offer bonus programs and the accumulation of loyalty points. Their cards inflate the purses of users. The platform Yunar wants to ensure order in the wallet. It offers an app that collects more than 200 loyalty cards digitally and with which customers can collect the appropriate loyalty points. The company behind the platform, Ambidexter GmbH, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.

Why is Germany’s largest financial institution investing in a loyalty card app? Reasons are probably the range of the app and the mass of data about the everyday life of users, which can be obtained with loyalty cards. However, direct monetization is not considered in the product, says Caren Genthner-Kappesz, a member of the Yunar management.

15 years of startup experience

She and Reiner Kraft have recently joined the leadership team at Yunar. The graduate mathematician Genthner-Kappesz has a 15-year startup biography and is responsible for stations on eBay, Naspers and Glossybox now mainly the expansion of the product range at Yunar. Computer scientist Kraft will use his experience of Yahoo and Zalando to control technology and data processing.

Genthner-Kappesz wants to expand the value of the product after the launch of the app at the end of January and expand its reach in order to gain relevance and advertising revenue in the market. She also plans to enrich the map app with services, such as linking them to payment. “Payment services and an evolution to the digital wallet are obvious options”.

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Whether Payback, Deutschlandcard or Miles & More – customer cards are very popular, according to Genthner-Kappesz. 72 percent of all Germans collected points and discounts, Yunar wants to have found in a market study – much even with several cards. In Germany, about 3,200 companies offer such cards.

Discount coupons more popular abroad

The interest abroad is similarly strong, as the market research company Nielsen has found in a study. However, the rewards differ according to Genthner-Kappesz. For example, coupons are more popular abroad than in Germany. The reading of loyalty cards in Germany is still largely analogous. “Only 25 percent of all transactions with bonus and loyalty cards in Germany are currently made digitally and via apps. Yunar has a lot of market potential here” says Genthner-Kappesz. This year, the app is to expand into another European country.

Other market participants have also recognized the potential of loyalty cards. Some companies, such as Deutsche Bahn or Lufthansa, have integrated their customer loyalty programs into their own apps. Bring in the shopping list app! Several cards can be deposited and Stocard offers similar to Yunar card management. Now it’s up to the startup to quickly increase user numbers in order to position themselves well on the market.

“We have a good five-digit number of users whose feedback we use to develop Yunar” says Genthner-Kappesz. The approximately 80-strong Yunar team moved from Frankfurt to Berlin. “The city is attractive for innovative talent, and people with the right experience are easier to find than anywhere else,” says the manager.

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