Loblaw, first retailer to partner with Ugo open mobile wallet

President’s Choice Financial, will be Ugo’s first retail partner, bringing its PC Plus loyalty program to the wallet
11/8/2013

President’s Choice Financial and TD Bank have joined forces to launch a mobile wallet called Ugo that combines payment and loyalty programs.

Loblaw Companies Ltd., which owns President’s Choice Financial, will be Ugo’s first retail partner, bringing its PC Plus loyalty program to the wallet.

Ugo will initially allow customers to load their President’s Choice Financial MasterCard, PC Plus card and TD Visa onto select NFC-enabled BlackBerry or Android smartphones, with plans to eventually add all NFC-enabled devices. With a single tap, customers can pay for their purchase and earn or redeem loyalty points at the point of sale.

The idea behind Ugo is to provide consumers with a more convenient way to shop, allowing them to replace cards from their physical wallet with a simple mobile payment method that automatically links to loyalty programs.

“Loblaw is always looking for new ways to improve the shopping experience in our stores and Ugo takes this to the next step by giving customers a faster, more convenient way to perform their everyday transactions,” said Vicente Trius, president of Loblaw Companies, in a release.

Ugo is an “open” wallet, meaning the application contains payment and loyalty cards from multiple banks and partners. A closed, or propriety, wallet is specific to one financial institution. Ugo plans to add more retail partners, debit and gift card capabilities, and loyalty programs in the future.

“At heart is a retailer and we needed to create an environment that was welcoming to all payment products, all loyalty products, and all retailers,” Barry Columb, president of President’s Choice Financial, told Canadian Grocer.

There are other value-added benefits for Ugo in the works as well. Columb said Ugo will be able to generate special offers and coupons directly to consumers’ mobile wallets. Ugo will also offer a store locator function and digital receipts that will go directly to consumers’ phones after they’ve paid for the purchase.

President’s Choice Financial said Ugo is Canada’s first open mobile wallet. A day after the company announced the launch of Ugo, Rogers Communications said it will offer an open mobile wallet on select Android and BlackBerry device in the coming weeks.

Ugo will launch in the spring of 2014.

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