Earn rewards by showing your face.
That’s right, your face.
TabHere, a startup launching in Phoenix this summer, plans to make it easier for loyal customers to earn and redeem rewards at local businesses.
Like other similar companies, TabHere uses a virtual rewards system, but founder Paul Kenjora identified an important difference in his model. Unlike services such as Belly and LevelUp, TabHere doesn’t require customers to carry anything to access their rewards – no cards, no mobile devices and not even identification.
So, how does it work?
Enter your favorite bar, restaurant or coffee shop and say “I’d like to start a Tab Here.” The cashier asks for an amount, and not only have you opened a tab, but you’ve earned a 20 percent discount. For example, if you started a tab for $50, you have $60 to spend.
To access your prepaid tab, simply give the cashier your name. You can access it over multiple visits, much like a traditional gift card. To prevent fraud, TabHere’s system, which is actually an iPad app, will include a photo for each person who “tabs there.” Seriously, you just need to bring your face.
“Something as simple as using your name to identify yourself is a much different experience than performing a phone transaction or handing someone a card,” Kenjora said.
Because TabHere encourages fewer but larger transactions rather than many small transactions, participating merchants can cut down on credit card processing fees. Two percent of the displaced fees go to TabHere and the rest helps to fund the rewards.
In addition to reducing credit card fees and maintaing loyal customers, businesses will hopefully be able to use the service to attract new visitors as it allows people to start tabs for their friends.
Kenjora, whose name you may recognize from AwareLabs, came up with the idea because he and his friends visit several local businesses frequently. He said Groupon and Living Social have shown the power of local deals, but their drawback is that they reward one-time customers rather than returning patrons.
TabHere’s funding has been purely bootstrap, and Kenjora doesn’t plan to reach out to investors in the foreseeable future. All development is done in-house and the startup’s staff consists of two people. However, TabHere acquired the help of the CO+HOOTS-based design firm eeko studio to develop the awesome artwork.
TabHere recently had a soft launch at three participating businesses but Kenjora isn’t releasing the official launch date or number of merchants who are on board just yet. He plans to have a party for the official launch.
More about TabHere
# of employees: 2
Revenues: Not available
Founder: Paul Kenjora
Twitter: Not available
Blog: Coming soon
Headquarters: CO+HOOTS 825 N. 7th St. Phoenix, AZ 85006