Ringier Launches « Vanilla.ch »: Pay Cashless Using Your Smartphone

Zurich: The media company Ringier is continuing expansion of its Internet activities and is launching Vanilla.ch, an innovative and clever sales promotion platform for paying at cash registers using your smartphone or the Vanilla MasterCard® . Thanks to geo-tracking, your smartphone even shows you where interesting special offers in the immediate vicinity are.

Consumers are increasingly gathering information on the Internet about the best offer before making a purchase. At the same time, mobile Internet via smartphones is being used more and more. Vanilla.ch takes these two trends and implements them in a novel and innovative way. 

Consumers log on at the homepage Vanilla.ch or download the application (app) designed for the iPhone free of charge. A corresponding app will be available for other smartphones soon. The application provides the option to select either the free standard package (Mobile Payment) or the premium package with costs (Sfr. 100 with Vanilla MasterCard® and Mobile Payment). The smartphone is enabled for mobile payment following the legally required credit check.

Thanks to the geo-tracking function of smartphones, consumers are able to determine where in the vicinity desired and sought-after offers are to be found. They can also see where special discounts are currently being offered. Payment is via barcode, which is transmitted directly to the smartphone and from the respective cash register system to Vanilla, or with the Vanilla MasterCard®. Customers are awarded points for every transaction conducted via Vanilla, which they can redeem at the premium store. The offer in the premium store currently consists of more than 25,000 items. Premium customers can even collect points worldwide.

Whoever becomes a premium member has additional benefits: a comprehensive Welcome Package containing coupons valued at approx. 500 francs at affiliated retailers – and after a certain amount of purchases, customers profit from exclusive offers which are difficult to obtain in normal shops. On the other hand, retailers profit with Vanilla.ch from an unrivalled sales promotion platform, which can be updated and measured in real time. More than 10 partners have currently signed up with Vanilla, for example the retailers Spar, Mobilezone, Steg, Scout 24, Die Post (only Mobile Payment), Europapark and others. New partners are continually joining.

Ringier is launching Vanilla.ch within the context of its strategy to expand its Internet activities in the area of transaction-based platforms. Vanilla.ch is being realized in collaboration with GE Money Bank AG and the MF Group AG. 

Communications Ringier Switzerland