By way of background, my company launched a service in July 2010 that allows payments to be collected in cash by customers at over 23,000 retailers across the UK. Think of the service like an old-fashioned postal order but with greater convenience for the customer. Unlike the Post Office however, retailers offering our service are typically open fourteen hours a day, seven days a week and are located close to where people live. In fact, 99.1% of the UK's urban population are less than one mile from a participating retailer. The service is now used by many of the UK's largest companies across the utility, media, telecoms and banking sectors. As you would expect, the service is totally secure and has now processed over £9M of payments to over 600,000 consumers. The service is protected by two granted UK patents.
The consumer proposition we are bringing to the market is simple and unique: many of us on our younger days have been delighted to receive a cash or postal order gift from a relative, enclosed in a card on birthdays or as recognition of some other occasion or achievement.
We will offer a modern version of the same experience by including one of our unique barcodes on the card (or enclosed with it). The recipient would then take the card to any one of the 23,000 stores across the UK that accept our vouchers. Here, the barcode is scanned and assuming it has not been used before, the recipient will be given the cash from the retailer's till. As the barcode no longer has any value attached to it, the card would be retained by the recipient.