For a while now, smartphones have enabled us to make payments through apps like Zapper.
But there’s a new wave that includes visual shopping, earning rewards and ordering ahead.
Here are three apps that let you shop visually with just an image, order and pay for meals in advance, and earn loyalty instantly:
1. Samsung Camera
If you’re a Samsung smartphone user, say hello to visual shopping.
Ever see a specific item of clothing that you wanted to buy, but didn’t know where it was from?
Simply use the Samsung camera app to identify similar if not the same item of clothing to purchase.
On the Samsung Camera app, switch to the artificial intelligence-powered Bixby Vision setting, and point your camera to the subject.
Another method is to go into your gallery and tap the eye-shaped “see” button on the saved image.
Powered by the Syte visual search engine, it works with South African retailers such as Superbalist, Zando, Homechoice and Bid or Buy.
Make sure you have an internet connection before attempting to search for an item. Supported handsets include the S8 upwards to S10, Note 8, and 2018’s A5 and A7.
The Kauai app is an m-commerce and loyalty-earning app in one, and claims to be the first South African app of its nature.
It has the current menus loaded with accompanying pics, shows you which store is offline, and has a dedicated customer care line.
The Order Ahead function works for any branch, lets you choose a pick-up time, and allows for immediate payment and loyalty points to be earned.
It’s useful if you’re on the road and don’t have time to queue for a meal, and allows you to purchase a meal for friends or family in another city. Order Ahead only works if you’ve loaded a bank card on the app.
Regular in-store customers can pay separately and earn loyalty points by scanning the QR code at the till points.
The transaction requires an internet connection but all Kauai stores have free Wi-Fi.
As for those pesky loyalty cards piling up in your wallet? Time to throw them out.
3. Mugg & Bean
The most compelling feature of the Mugg & Bean Generosity app is loyalty, and who doesn’t want to be rewarded for being a customer these days?
The app has a simple design with a menu that covers everything from transaction history and special offers to menu and gifting.
The homepage displays your Bean Balance and reward level. While you cannot order via the app, you can use it to make payments with a preloaded bank card or earn loyalty points if you’re paying by cash or card.
This is done by scanning the QR code on the bill provided by the waiter, however, it also uses an internet connection but, M&B provides free Wi-Fi.
Once you have earned enough points, it will be available as a cash reward under the payment screen. Oh, did we mention that everyone gets a free slice of cake on their birthday!