Zwype is your digital bar tab – StartupSmart

A BlueChilli startup is looking to make it easier for customers to pay for items even if they have left their wallet at home.


Zwype is a virtual wallet and payment system that allows users to buy items at participating venues – such as cafes, restaurants and bars – without the need to swipe their credit card or pay by cash.


Co-founder Matthew Bond says one of his co-founders works in the hospitality industry and “jumped at the idea” because his customers were always forgetting their credit cards in the first place or leaving them behind at the bar.


“Our app allows users to leave their credit card, wallet and cash at home,” he says.


“They can simply walk into an applicable venue, open a tab, show their phone with a unique number and when they want to pay they can walk out of the venue or close the tab and it will email a receipt.”


The startup currently has more than 300 businesses in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne onboard – with plans to launch in Perth, Adelaide and Darwin shortly.


“I’m a big believer that cash will be gone in about five years’ time and that in 10 years’ time credit cards will be gone,” Bond says.


“You go anywhere these days and pay on credit card or go out for dinner with friends and no one has cash on them. It’s almost a chore to get cash out of an ATM. The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is check your phone… why can’t it be a tool for paying for everything?”


Bond says the Zwype system saves venues time and allows them to harness customer data to help them make smarter decisions.


“It makes the relationship between the customer and venue more fluid,” he says.


“When you walk into a venue and select it [on the app] your picture will turn up on their iPad as well as your name and favourite drink. So it creates more of a rapport between the customer and venue – rather than someone coming in, ordering something, paying their $5-10 and walking out.”


As for what’s next for the startup, Bond says he hopes to raise some capital in the next few months once it gets some more traction.


“We obviously want to spread our network and go international,” he says.


“We have actually tested it at a bar in Bali to see if it would work – it proved you can pay anywhere in the world… but baby steps.”


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