Fygo has announced that it has paused operations in order to update its rewards system. The hiatus came into effect at midnight 19th November and a relaunch date is yet to be confirmed.
The owners of the app, which encourages students to buy from local businesses using a cashback-based rewards system, assured users that developers aim to have the app “back up-and-running before the end of the academic year”.
The reasons behind the break include a major update to the app’s current rewards system and partnerships with new brands set to launch in the new year, according to the company owners.
Users have been assured that the app will remain on the app store and that they will still be able to withdraw earnings from it into their Fygo wallet.
Fygo told users: “The faster we can get the new rewards system in place, the sooner we can get up and running with brands that we know you’ll all love.”
The business also explained that “these updates […] require more of the team’s attention than we initially thought”, although they have not disclosed information about what these changes might entail.
Fygo’s current system allows businesses to partner with Fygo which, for a small fee, will give their customers cashback with every purchase they make. A student spending £10 at a business offering 10% cashback and using a bank card registered with Fygo, will get £1 cashback credited to their Fygo account which they can withdraw at any time.
Fygo uses the information it collects about student purchases, to build up “an accurate understanding of the buying habits of millennials” which it uses to help companies target their advertisements.
The founders, recent alumni of St. Andrews and Durham University, highlighted the need for an innovative way to foster support for shopping local, as “local businesses have long been neglected by traditional loyalty and discount solutions.” Many Durham student favourites are signed up to the scheme, including Stanton’s and Fabio’s bar which have been partnered with Fygo since its launch in March 2021.
Fygo’s co-founder, Toby Lowenstein Lowenstein told Palatinate in an interview in June this year, three months after the app’s launch, that the company’s aim was “to build a social app that would automatically reward students for spending at their favourite businesses”.
Lowenstein identified the coronavirus lockdowns as “the perfect makeshift incubators for the business”, allowing them to focus their attention on the startup.
After receiving £400,000 in funding from the founder of Telecom plus, Charles Wigoder, the app was able to encourage businesses to become partners. The first businesses to sign up when the app launched were offered incentives such as £200 complimentary cashback, a free photoshoot, and a money-back satisfaction guarantee.