Case study: How Trilo + Yapily are helping local businesses stand up to larger retailers

Learn how Trilo is using Yapily Data and Yapily Payments to take down cards, help businesses avoid transaction fees, and offer personalised rewards to consumers.

What problems does Trilo solve?

Everyone loves an underdog story. However, the story of local business vs. high street heavyweights has been told for too long, and a “happy ending” for small businesses seems further away than ever before.

Though the post-pandemic world helped consumers see the value in shopping locally, crippling card fees are still a big problem for local businesses that simply don’t have the economies of scale to comfortably absorb them. How much are we talking about? On average, businesses have to pay £600 per month in fees. (Visa, Mastercard and PayPal all increased interchange fees in 2021.) This is on top of other costs like rent, business rates, and insurance that are increasing exponentially in the current economic climate.

Larger retailers like supermarkets and high street coffee shops are able to combat these costs by investing in increasingly sophisticated and personalised rewards schemes that are designed to attract and retain customers. This is a luxury smaller merchants can only dream of. Aside from offering customers a rudimentary loyalty card and giving them a stamp every time they spend, being able to offer a tailored, meaningful rewards scheme typically requires investment in a customer relationship management (CRM) system, integrating it with any existing point of sale (POS) or ecommerce platforms, then having someone to manage that customer data and use it to create tailored customer experiences.

Trilo exists to take down cards, giving people an easy way to shop, pay, and live, while helping businesses avoid hefty and unnecessary transaction fees.

“Businesses lose out on so much of their hard-earned money whenever a payment is made with cards… a system created before we sent anyone to the moon. Transaction fees can be up to 4%, and in some cases even more. Trilo is all about helping small and local businesses, stand up and fight against cards. To do that, we set out to create a simple way for people to shop, live and pay each other.” - Hamish Blythe, Founder and CEO at Trilo

The key to Trilo’s mission is disrupting traditional attitudes towards spending. With 2.6 million students in the UK, Trilo believes targeting university cities - both their businesses and students - will mobilise the next generation to pay, shop, and live differently. As this group enters the working world, the potential to influence young professionals and wider demographics could be a catalyst for the mass adoption of account-to-account payments in the retail sector which will promote a healthier economy free of cards and their fees.

Where does Yapily come in?

Realising that open banking had the potential to create a POS system without card fees, Trilo considered building their own API and bank integrations. But they quickly realised the scale of the task at hand.

“After trying to build our own solution, we hooked up to another partner to get things off the ground. That initial solution was rather clunky. We were later introduced to Yapily, and quickly realised that working with a partner who had the capacity to scale with us was a much better way to go.”, Hamish explained.

Trilo doesn’t just give consumers a new way to pay, it also gives students the tools to turn university clubs and societies into ecommerce businesses. Underpinned by open banking technology, this serves as a proof of concept which encourages students to see the value of card-free commerce in every facet of their lives. Alongside this, Trilo’s platform allows local businesses to understand consumers’ motivations and their spending habits so, together, they can create a fairer future economy.

Creating a better financial ecosystem

Using Yapily Payments Trilo are able to focus on building the best service possible for their customers and users. QR codes and payment links are created, making it simple for businesses to move away from cards and their fees. This unlocks hidden revenue which would otherwise be eaten up in paying those fees.

Building a data-rich ecosystem from the ground up, Trilo is also able to give SMBs the tools that the likes of Amazon, Tesco, and other large retailers have at their disposal, enabling them to acquire, retain, and improve customer experience.

Using Yapily Data, Trilo is also able to enrich this data further, providing a level of insights that would be unfathomable with cards. Through open banking, Trilo allows businesses to access transaction data at a glance through their own dashboard, allowing them to easily view revenue and sales trends.

With these insights SMBs are able to increase sales and, when combined with the savings from removing card fees, they’re able to reinvest in their business and push out personalised rewards. Here’s how: through Trilo’s ‘Boost’ feature, businesses can offer rewards like discounts, a service upgrade, or even a free beer.

Consumers benefit, too, with a simple shopping experience, and rewards whenever they shop. The check-out experience is seamless, people can instantly send and receive funds to and from contacts’ accounts, and splitting bills has never been easier. And, because security is baked into open banking, the risk of money laundering and fraud is mitigated.

The impact

Partnering with Yapily, Trilo has seen impressive uptake across their customer base. In some cases, as much as 80% of a university’s clubs and societies exclusively use Trilo’s platform to sell to their members.

Businesses are charged a monthly subscription for using Trilo’s platform, meaning they can pocket the revenue from every sale, instead of it going towards transaction fees. Since launching in one of their key markets in September 2022, the number of users has grown by 1300%, and their 30-day retention rate (users returning to use the app) is up to 60%.

Based on this initial success, Trilo is now looking to expand in new markets, and will use open banking data to give businesses even more powerful insights to support customer acquisition and retention.

“Yapily has a solid set of APIs, so we can focus on giving the best experience possible to our customers. We needed a versatile open banking partner who wanted to work closely with us to find and solve problems together. Yapily has been exactly that. Together, we are putting more money back in the hands of local businesses, and creating a fairer economy for the future.” - Hamish Blythe, Founder and CEO at Trilo

Since partnering with Yapily, Trilo have:

  • Helped local merchants unlock thousands of pounds each year to reinvest back into their business
  • Reduced the time taken for merchants to receive funds from up to 7 days, to 5 minutes, allowing them to optimise cash flow and redeploy those funds faster than ever
  • Experienced rapid growth, with a 1300% increase in the total number of users in September


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