British startup CheckoutSmart rewards loyal grocery shoppers

checkoutsmart-logoSupermarkets have used coupons for years, but the digital age is in full swing and it is time to update the discount system to meet the times. CheckoutSmart is a British smart aiming to reward shoppers who patronize certain stores with cash back.

Reaping the rewards in this case requires a bit of post-checkout effort on the part of customers. The idea is that the major supermarkets list a number of items, for which customers can receive rewards by purchasing. Having purchased one of these items (and the reward amount is listed in the app), they have the option of uploading a photo of their receipts and receiving a cash return, which can be then deposited in the customer’s bank or Paypal account. According to a representative for CheckoutSmart, stores also have an incentive to partner with the service, as it offers access to customer data.

This service launched back in February, but it has proven popular since it launched, picking up 250K users. Just this week the startup announced that they have reeled in $2.4 million in new funding from a group of private investors. The company was fairly vague when announcing its plans, with CEO and founder Chris Howarth said that they intend to “take the business to the next level and reach millions of shoppers in the U.K.”

The app is pretty similar to Snap, a service launched last month in the U.S. by Groupon. One of the main differences between the services, other than geographic focus, is that Snap allows customers to receive cash once they have reached $20 worth of rewards, while CheckoutSmart allows them to request a pay out at any time. One stipulation, however, is that those who request a payment of less than 20 pounds will be stuck with a 5% transfer fee, while the request is free for those who request more than 20.

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