My big fat wallet sucks! There’s an App for that – Scanaroo

So I’m not the real loyalty card person in my house, I’ve got the Kroger’s card on my key chain and that’s about it.  I do however have all those healthcare cards which never seem to be in my wallet when I need them, so Chris Carfi’s latest foray into application development is a better way to manage your loyalty cards without the big fat wallet.

I did get the opportunity to synch with Chris on Scanaroo and get his insights around the app.  This iPhone app isn’t his first one, the Ventana platform continues to grow for a consolidated mobile view into social information.  There is no doubt that mobile platforms are going to be central to innovation and Chris and the Cerado team has been focusing on improving folks experience via mobile information management for at least the last 3 years.

So here is a little insight to what’s going on with Scanaroo.

You have been involved with VRM for a real long time, did Scanaroo pop out from those activities?
Absolutely.  One of the ongoing conversations within the VRM community centers around individual control of one’s own data/information.  At the West Coast VRM Summit in the spring of 2009, there was a confluence of factors that sparked the idea of Scanaroo.  In particular, the question of “what are the pieces of information that sit between a customer and a vendor that the customer should be able to better manage?”  From there, the discussion turned to loyalty cards, insurance cards, membership cards and the like, which spurred the development of Scanaroo.

How would you characterize the ideal user for your app?
Anyone who carries more than, say, two or three of these types of cards with her or him is an idea candidate for using Scanaroo.

I have a bunch of cards in my wallet, can you share cards with Scanaroo? Like giving the dental insurance card to your kids or something?
That would be a perfect use case.  It is exceedingly easy to get cards into Scanaroo, so if your kids are also carrying iPhones, the easiest path would be to have each child import his or her card(s).

Where are you thinking this will go over time?

This is really the first step; the initial foray into an industry change where customers both create and control their own information much more actively.  Another great example is what we are starting to see in the area of personal informatics, for example, where individuals choose to track information such as their exercise activities (e.g. “how far did I run today?”) or other items of interest, such as electricity/energy consumption in their homes.  Over time, we believe that smartphones will be the enabling technology for transforming the retail industry in the same way that blogs changed news and media in the 90s, or the MP3 changed music in the 80s, or even the way the personal computer changed computing in the 80s.  These are all cases where a disruptive enabling technology moved an entire industry from centralized control to one that is highly networked.

I’d love a feature where I could put in my ticket master eDelivery ticket on my phone and have it scanned.   I really don’t like the whole 8.5×11 paper getting all soggy when I’m at a show.

We are already starting to see this in some industries.  For example, a number of airlines now enable e-delivery of boarding passes right to your smartphone.  As William Gibson said, the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed.  🙂

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2 Comments

  • Reply jon gatrell November 4, 2009 at 3:59 am

    SR Post: My big fat wallet sucks! There’s an App for that – Scanaroo: So I’m not the real loyalty card person i… http://bit.ly/nNHtX

  • Reply christopher carfi November 4, 2009 at 10:11 am

    heh. RT @spatially "My big fat wallet sucks!" http://bit.ly/nNHtX

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