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How CoGo and Fidel increased conscious spending with card-linking

Customer story

London, UK
Products used

Have you ever googled ‘how to be more sustainable’? Ben Gleisner has.

Ben’s the founder and CEO of CoGo. The company started life almost a decade ago when Ben and Melissa were looking for local cafes that were doing good. They came up with a stickering system but soon realised that to effectively connect businesses and consumers with the same ethical standards, they’d need a tech solution.

“The challenge for businesses and consumers is that it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to being more sustainable and ethical”, he explains. “And googling doesn’t help – we know, we’ve tried!” Instead, Ben built CoGo.

About CoGo

CoGo helps guide consumers to spend at businesses that are more sustainable and ethical. Using the CoGo app, consumers select the issues they care about the most, like reducing waste or paying employees a fair living wage. Their feed in the CoGo app is automatically populated with businesses who match those values, and can also be filtered by industry or geolocation.

CoGo transforms every pound customers spend into a vote for a better future, and empowers them to use their spending power to drive meaningful change. “Think of CoGo as loyalty – not in terms of getting more products you don’t need, but empowerment that you’re making changes”, says Ben.

The challenge

But there was a problem. There was no easy way to show consumers exactly what impact their ethical spending was having, and that meant engagement was suffering. Ben needed data.

To help remove any barriers to entry, Ben wanted to put education on how consumers could change their habits at the heart of the sign-up journey. If consumers could see in concrete terms the impact they were having, it would make them feel more empowered and ultimately, more engaged. For this, Ben began to search for a way to track when consumers spent at conscious businesses, and to notify them in real-time of their contribution to good causes. But it was crucial that this not add friction.

“Fidel’s card-linking technology helps us engage with our users as they shop, without adding any friction. The integration was super quick and easy, and the real-time information we’re now able to see is instrumental to our ability to reach more customers and make a real difference”

The solution

That’s when Ben found Fidel. Using Fidel’s API, CoGo is able to create what Ben calls “emotional signals” in real-time, every time their consumers spend.

Consumers can now link their payment card to CoGo with just a couple of clicks. Using Fidel’s SDK means they don’t have to navigate away from the CoGo app, and the process slots neatly into the sign-up progress. Whenever they use their linked payment card at a CoGo conscious businesses, both they and the businesses are notified in real-time. From Feb to Apr-19, CoGo saw the number of consumers connecting their card increase 4x.

There are big benefits for businesses, too. By sending a signal when consumers shop with their linked card, CoGo delivers vital information about who’s spending and what other issues they care about. For example, businesses can see that consumers who are spending with them also care about Living Wage, and could start to build that into their CSR strategy. Thanks to CoGo, businesses can not only reach new consumers, but work to become more sustainable and conscious as they earn more badges over time based on their progress.

The Future

So what’s next for Ben and CoGo? After completing one of the biggest capital raises for a social enterprise in New Zealand — $2 million dollars — CoGo moved to the UK in 2018 to focus on expansion. There are already 13,000 businesses live on the app (including Living Wage Accredited, Sustainable Restaurant Association and Social Enterprise), and numbers are set to jump significantly when nationwide rollout begins In Autumn.

To give it a go for yourself, download the CoGo app here.

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