Buzzin-coins (previously Payeze) is a CHEST Call 3 winner from Sparta Digital, where users are awarded coins for qualifying actions. These coins can then be used to purchase rewards including gift cards and vouchers at participating retailers. Where Buzzin takes a novel approach is by developing a differentiated model of virtual currency whereby users can earn the virtual currency only by carrying out community based socially and eco-friendly activities. These activities include volunteering work and using eco-friendly modes of transport.
Since the start of the project, the project team has evaluated the backend engine and compared it with the state-of-the-art in virtual currency solutions. They have also conducted market research (including end-user feedback) and business models analysis to assess the changes in market requirements considering the entry of many new players in the virtual currency market. In-line with this, it was decided to call the virtual currency itself Buzzin-coins and to develop it as an independent virtual currency solution.
Technical development progress includes the initial design specifications for the system and APIs documentation, design of backend systems and security infrastructure, design of a platform web application, and web service APIs specifications. Open APIs for Buzzin-coins are created and made available, with one for public transport and the other for volunteering.
The Buzzin app, which will provide the rewards from local businesses, has been developed and released on both iOS and Play stores. Users of the app are able to automatically sign-up to Buzzin-coins when they download the app. An account is created for the user and different types of social actions are defined, with each having its own method of calculating and awarding the coins. Users can earn through web/mobile apps for different social actions and can spend the coins on rewards from the Rewards/Deals section of the Buzzin app.
Users can start earning Buzzin-coins each time they use the Buzzin app for ticketing and travel on public transport – the coins will be awarded when the user pays for the public transport based on the number of miles travelled, so the more miles travelled the more coins that are awarded. Buzzin-coins can also be earned by users through other web and mobile applications, for example using the Do-It app for volunteering and community work. In this case the Buzzin-coins are awarded based on the number of hours of verified hours of volunteering completed.
The project team has completed their pilot set-up with approximately 50 local businesses and social enterprises signed-up, a system and service showcase, and awareness events to be organised. Blogging and social media activity has started.
Functions that are to be designed in the future for awarding Buzzin coins are for other types of actions like bike sharing, energy saving, etc.
To learn more about the Buzzin app, you can visit the official website: http://buzzinapp.com/
A dedicated website for Buzzin-coins will be launched: http//buzzincoins.com