How often have you gone to the coffee shop down the road because you have a loyalty card there? How many times have you forgotten or lost that loyalty card? Yup, me too.

Punchd is a new service that is putting a stop to losing/forgetting our reward cards. It’s a smart phone app that works as a digital punch card or as they like to call it, “a buy-ten-get-one-free card”. It is founded by Reed Morse and Grantland Chew, two Computer Scientist, who took their senior project and turned it into a business.

How does it work? After downloading the app onto your mobile, you hit the “Nearby Venues” button. That populates a list of venues located near you that accept Punchd. When you arrive at the venue you locate the QR Code. Then open the app and hit the “Get Punched” button. The app will read the code automatically and punch your digital card or alert you of a reward that’s due. The app is super simple and easy to use. The Nearby Venues button works as an interesting discovery tool.

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The incentives for customers to use this app is obvious. However why should businesses use it? Not only is it greener but it’s a cheaper long-term alternative to physical cards. Businesses will also receive more information from Punchd then traditional cards. With current loyalty cards, it is difficult to track how many have been distributed, have many punches are being given out or how many rewards are being collected. They will now have access to data telling them exactly how many people downloaded the application, how many people made transactions and where the transactions went.

Many stores are using Punchd such as Jamba Juice and Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Sadly most stores that operate it are  based in California. To find a definitive list of all the venues that are currently using Punchd visit here.

The app is free and available on the iPhone and the Android.