A new payment method bridging physical and digital commerce – exclusive interview with Aplauz

Thursday 25 February 2021 07:18 CET | Editor: Anda Kania | Interview

Goran Abramović, Aplauz's CEO: Aplauz was created as a solution to put consumers back in the driver’s seat when it comes to buying online. We want to empower conscious spending

Aplauz is a new online payment method. Can you tell us how it works and who would benefit from using Aplauz?

Aplauz makes buying online possible for an emerging segment that wants to spend more consciously.

The way it works is quite easy. As a user, you first go to a local convenience store and buy an Aplauz digital credit voucher for an amount of your choice. Cash or cards payments are accepted, which customers appreciate a lot. The digital credit can then be spent online on any website which supports Aplauz. At the checkout, you simply select Aplauz as a payment method and enter the 16-digit code number to pay. 

We created Aplauz for a growing segment of people who are asking for a convenient and safe way to pay online.

Accidental overspending has become more prevalent than ever with one-click buying and subscription services. And that’s not the only concern with traditional payment methods. Especially among Generation Z consumers, there is a growing worry about privacy. They worry that their financial or personal information will be stolen online. Research also shows that this generation in particular is reluctant to buy things on credit and go into debt. Many of them don’t have credit cards, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy online.

Aplauz is a great solution for who wants to buy online, without the risk of unconsciously losing personal data or money. 

What is the vision behind Aplauz?

Aplauz was created as a solution to put consumers back in the driver’s seat when it comes to buying online.  We want to empower conscious spending. 

Conscious spending means two things to us. On the one hand, we want to help people to take back control of their spending. Online paying has become so seamless that customers lose control of how much they are spending on what. With the option to pay later, many people spend more than they can actually afford.  

On the other hand, conscious spending also describes the bigger social change we want to drive as a company. Our Millennial and Gen Z audiences care about contributing positively to the world, and we want to help them do that by supporting conscious spending habits. Our team is using that vision as a design philosophy for the next phase of product development.

When can we expect to see Aplauz available across Europe?

Aplauz was launched in Switzerland in December of last year and is already available in more than 2000 convenience stores across the country. We will be expanding across Europe during this year and expect Aplauz to be available in stores throughout Europe in Q2.

Our first merchant partner was the WHO Foundation. We created co-branded digital displays and posters in-stores for their nation-wide donation campaign. 

We are currently working on the integration of payment service providers to easily enable Aplauz on merchant's checkout pages. In parallel, we are onboarding online merchants of a broad range of industries in the field of digital content and entertainment, including online video gaming, telecommunication services, ride-sharing services, and social media. 

What are the benefits for merchants adding Aplauz to their payment method portfolio?

From a merchant perspective, Aplauz will open up a door to new customers. 

For example, online video game publishers can attract young gamers who don’t have a credit card but can convert cash pocket money into digital credits with Aplauz. In the case of subscription-based businesses, Aplauz offers a way to tap into a segment that is hesitant to sign up for automated recurring payments but would try it if they could pay as a one-off.

Moreover, Aplauz gives its partners the opportunity to join in-store marketing campaigns. With 8 million visitors every week in our Swiss retail network, advertising in these stores can be a powerful acquisition tool for our partner merchants.

We want to create a win-win-win model throughout the value chain. A nice example of this, is that we let a customer choose the exact amount he/she wants for their voucher. They can then make a one-off payment for a specific product or service with a merchant partner, without being left with unused credits on their vouchers. A win for everyone involved.

Because Aplauz stands for conscious spending, a merchant who offers Aplauz as a payment method shows that they support conscious spending. It’s a way to let consumers know their right to conscious spending is respected by this merchant.

What's next for Aplauz?

We are currently focused on completing the rollout in Switzerland and preparing for our expansion in Europe. At the same time, we are further developing the product to empower Aplauz users in their conscious spending. I will be able to tell you more next time. 

About Goran Abramović

Goran is the CEO and Co-Founder of Aplauz and Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Own.Solutions Group, the Aplauz parent company. For the past 17 years, Goran has been engaged in building bridges between physical and digital commerce using the latest available technology as foundation pillars. Working in close collaboration with the Own.Solutions physical stores network, Goran is passionate about making convenience stores an active player in digital commerce transformation. Aplauz is a great way to achieve that and a unique tool to reach an untapped customer base for digital merchants.

About Aplauz

Aplauz is a prepaid digital credit that empowers people to make conscious spending. Aplauz vouchers can be bought at convenience stores and used to make online payments without any of the traditional online payment methods, and without having a bank account.  It is ideal for those who don’t own a credit card, or who don’t want to disclose financial details, to security buy online while staying in control of their spending. 

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Keywords: Aplauz, payment methods, merchants, digital payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: Europe
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce