A lot of our most exciting projects and best innovations are based on collaborations with colleagues we know and trust. One of our most recent endeavours involved the perfect meeting of minds: the people behind St. Oberholz, Berlin’s buzzing birthplace of well-known start-ups (think Soundcloud, HelloFresh or N26, the hospitality and point-of-sale solution specialists at orderbird and our very own thinkers, tinkerers and all-round development cracks. Playing to each partner’s particular strengths, we leveraged St. Oberholz’s hospitality experience, orderbird’s existing POS soft- and hardware and our tech and development expertise, all held together by years of trust and collaboration.
The result: an MVP running in a live environment that incorporates a customer app, a smart payment terminal built upon the recently released MINI by orderbird and a card-linked loyalty system - integrated with the orderbird POS ecosystem.
Due to Covid-19 and recent updates to fiscalisation legislation, a lot of cafes in Berlin-Mitte are currently planning to go cash-free. To sweeten the deal for prospective customers, a convenient, one-stop payment and loyalty scheme at the POS could provide just the right incentive to ditch those coins – and simplify matters for the vendor.
At the same time, most loyalty schemes still require customers to carry separate membership cards, punch vouchers, collect stamps, scan barcodes or go through a rigmarole of steps to collect points and redeem rewards – and none of these are tied to the payment process. Our intrepid trio of partners set out to remedy just that. And create the backbone of a potential white label solution that can be baked into existing or future POS software and devices.
Since all of St. Oberholz café and co-working spaces are cashless already, they offered the perfect proving ground for friction-free payment and benefits collection. And due to our long-standing partnership with orderbird we saw the potential for building a loyalty programme on top of their existing hospitality solution.
To this end, all three partners doubled down during lockdown downtime: over the course of approx. 6 months, remote workshops and sprint-demo sessions those involved virtually became all one team.
To build the resulting MVP, we developed and delivered the project’s:
After making a purchase (using their preferred payment method) customers are prompted to create a loyalty account by scanning a QR code with their smartphone. Their chosen payment method is automatically linked to their loyalty account. That’s it!
Now, every time they make a purchase they automatically collect loyalty points - without any action or thought required on their part. Once they have enough points, these can be exchanged for rewards - at St. Oberholz, this means a freshly roasted coffee.
Customers can also link their Google or Apple Pay details as well as additional credit cards to their existing account for automatic points collection.
Sellers, on the other hand, can use this new functionality within their existing set-up. In other words: there’s no need for additional employee training or complex integrations. The only visible difference is a next-gen payment terminal that supports tipping and the display of optional marketing messages.
Curious? Feel free to try it out for yourself at any St. Oberholz location from October!
As always, there’s a lot more to this MVP than meets the eye: under the hood, there are plenty of moving parts and components (from payment provider and POS software integration to loyalty backend and end-user app) that don’t necessarily play nice together.
Luckily, we not only love a good challenge (or three), but also have extensive experience and expertise in hospitality-related fintech (Dine & Go), speedy MVP building and POS hard- and software integration (MINI by orderbird development).
This could not have been done without Christian Scheper-Stuke (Product Manager) and Jakob Schreyer (CEO) at orderbird, Benjamin Schulz and Ansgar Oberholz from St. Oberholz as well as our partner Cybersource (a Visa subsidiary). It’s been a joy to work with you all over the past few years.
And we are confident that there will be many more collaborations in the future!