I got a chance to interview Flex Rewards Founder and CEO, Simon Cheong, and ask him some questions about how Flex Rewards got started.
Q: How did you guys decide to build a digital stamp card app?
A: That’s a good question. We actually started building an app to send airdrops to customers using GPS technology. But, the more we spoke to our customers, the more we realized that the immediate need was a loyalty program. So, we pivoted to focus on providing a virtual stamp card solution.
Q: Why a digital stamp card? Why didn’t you choose a points system, for example?
A: We figured that the most important thing about a loyalty program is making sure that customers use it. There’s no point launching a really complicated loyalty scheme, but have low customer participation. We took a look at all the different options, and it was pretty clear that a simple stamp card or coffee card connects best with customers. Everyone understands it, and most people have several stamp cards in their wallet already.
Q: Why don’t merchants just use a paper stamp card?
A: They can, and they have done so in the past! The problem with paper stamp cards is that they are pain to manage, especially if you want to keep track of your customers. Also, most customers forget to bring their stamp card, and regularly lose them.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your competition?
A: There’s a lot of competition out there. It takes quite some digging to go through all the different digital stamp card options. However, we’ve managed to distinguish ourselves due to how easy our system is to use. Customers just scan QR codes to join. Staff just enter a 4-digit PIN to award stamps and validate rewards. We are probably the easiest plug-and-play digital stamp card solution on the market.
Q: How long did it take you to build the Flex Rewards app?
A: About 3 years of 24/7 software development. It’s a complicated thing, and there are so many details to consider when launching an app globally.
Q: Now, I heard you didn’t start as a software engineer?
A: No. In my previous life I was a lawyer for the World Bank. I started this business in 2017 after I left the legal practice. I’ve never looked back. Things are so much more dynamic in tech.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve with Flex Rewards?
A: I am passionate about what I’m doing. I think we can make a huge difference to the way small businesses engage and manage their customers. The truth is that most businesses simply aren’t doing a good job of collecting customer information. That needs to change quickly as all marketing and customer acquisition is now done digitally. Collecting customer data will become crucial for long-term business survival. I want Flex Rewards to be the champion for small businesses when it comes to capturing customer details and managing customer relationships.
Q: You’ve already built a ton of features.. can you give us a hint at what might be coming next?
A: I don’t want to give away too much, but we’ve identified some pretty big pain points in areas such as payments, bookings and home delivery. We’re always looking for ways to make things easier for our customers, so you can be sure we’re working on things that are on our customers’ wish list.