Aneace Haddad has been in the payments industry for 25 years. He has launched several start-ups and is the author of two payment strategy books and numerous articles. Aneace has just launched Taggo, a Singapore start-up that brings Facebook fan recognition to the point of sale. In 1996, Aneace founded Welcome Real-time, a France based provider of payment software to banks in 30 countries. In 1992, Aneace launched the world’s first smart card couponing system, PromoCarte and signed deals with 30 consumer product companies, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Colgate and others. Aneace has filed numerous patents. In 2001, he managed and won an infringement lawsuit against a competitor in the US and Australia, establishing patent jurisprudence in the process. He is a frequent speaker at conferences around the world.Aneace occasionally runs an entrepreneurship workshop for MBA students in Singapore, where he shares his mistakes and pains and provides guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs. We caught up with Aneace to understand more about Taggo.
What is Taggo?
Taggo brings social media marketing to the point of sale. Customers click "like" on their bank's Facebook page, and register their credit or debit cards to get exclusive fan benefits when they shop. Whenever a customer enjoys a discount or other fan benefit, Taggo automatically posts a message on the customer's wall saying that they "like" the merchant and the bank.
Taggo helps banks and retailers attract new customers, engage and communicate with more people, and create opportunities for recommendations and referrals.
How was the idea born?
Aneace spent over a decade building his prior venture, Welcome Real-time, into a global provider of loyalty systems for banks. Credit and debit card marketing systems traditionally consist of heavy and expensive enterprise software that requires 12 to 18 months of costly integration before a bank can get any benefit. After the company was sold in 2007, Aneace was free to start fresh and think about completely new ways to deliver similar benefits. Aneace was especially interested in creating light, modern solutions that are fun and easy to use, and can be delivered in weeks rather than a year or more.
Aneace hit upon Taggo at the end of 2008, and patented his solution and launched the company in January 2009. Taggo's first trials went live with a few local Singapore merchants in October and November 2009, using Singapore's touch and go transit cards. A new version for traditional magnetic stripe credit and debit cards will be available in March 2011.
Pricing and Benefits for users and traders
Taggo provides a plug-in application for the bank's Facebook page and a fan recognition application for the retailer's point of sale system. These are provided free of charge. Taggo operates the back-end systems that connect Facebook to retailer point of sale systems.
Pricing is based on usage of Taggo's platform. Banks pay a monthly fee based on the number of merchant partners that provide fan benefits to the bank's cardholders.
Other reward programs that can be run on Taggo
Since cards are the simplest and most convenient to identify oneself, Taggo can be used to add fan benefits to potentially any type of card. We are starting with banks because they are a powerful global channel to market to reach retailers everywhere. Taggo also supports tap and go transit cards, so transit authorities can also benefit. We will explore other types of cards based on demand.
In terms of geographic operations, we are already in discussions with banks, transit authorities and other potential partners in several countries around the world, including India.
Visit http://taggo.me/ to learn more.
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