Phones4U subsidiary seeks partners for travel app

A subsidiary of mobile phones retailer Phones4U is looking to work with travel partners who can provide deals for a new app that supports pre-paid debit cards aimed at holidaymakers.

The high street retailer has been selling the Escape debit cards, developed by E.Z. Pay in partnership with Mastercard, to its customers for leisure travel for the last 18 months.

The firm now plans to have a smartphone app ready to launch in late summer through which customers will be able to manage their account and access offers from partners.

With the card costing a one-off £9.99 at the point of purchase, E.Z. Pay managing director Paul Smith said the cost could be offset almost immediately by taking advantage of offers the app will provide.

Smith said the most exciting potential use of the app is to develop its phones for m-commerce with chips added to phones that will turn them effectively into electronic payment cards.

Smith said this potentially offers partners the chance to target their offers to customers based on their spending behaviour or the circumstances, for instance while they are holiday.

“The most exciting thing for me is that their phone is always going to be with the customer, so being able to get in touch in real time is right there.

“Because you have embedded a wallet inside the same device you can now truly achieve impulse purchasing.”

Smith said he was looking for partners to sign up to provide content for the app as this will be one of its attractions to potential customers.

“The ability to manage your account with the app is great, it’s like logging on to your bank account. That’s appealing but the sexiness is what deals you can provide with it.

“We have to have partners that want to give those rewards. Their content becomes the real driver.”

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