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Can this app save Australia’s $80 billion bar and pub industry from its impending “Y2K moment”?

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Fresh off the back of selling eCoffeeCard to Beat The Q in February 2014, serial entrepreneur Greg Taylor is back with the launch of a new iOS and Android app, Clipp.

Clipp allows customers to open, manage and pay their bar tab or restaurant bill securely and instantly using their smartphone, instead of leaving a credit card behind the bar.

There are two other co-founders, Stuart Hunter and Craig Stanford, who built the technical side of the app.

Taylor told Anthill that together, they like to call themselves “the convenience creators”.

“When nutting down the concept for Clipp, we realised that going out to a pub had become more about waiting at the bar to be served than actually enjoying the tipple and the social experience, so we decided to change that,” Taylor revealed.

“Australia’s hospitality industry is worth over $80 billion and bar tabs are becoming more commonplace – not just limited to corporates and big wigs,” he added, speaking on why they targeted this hospitality sector in particular.

What are the benefits of using Clipp?

Clipp eliminates the need to hand over your cards or licenses to be kept behind the bar – you can set up a tab in 10 seconds on your smartphone.

Clipp lets users control their spend as they are able to see exactly how much they have spent, thanks to real-time updates. You won’t unwittingly drink yourself broke…

Patrons can leave like they own the place. Clipp is like the Uber for bar tabs – users simply close their tab when they are ready to leave, no more queuing up at the bar.

Split payments: one tab can be shared across multiple phones. You will no longer need to awkwardly ask, “Umm… who’s got the card?”

Receipts are emailed straight to the user’s inbox making expenses reporting seamless for corporate clients. Yes, you can keep track of which employee of yours takes the most tequila.

Saving the bar and pub industry from its version of Y2K

August 1 is the bars and pubs’ version of Y2K (except the problems are real, not theoretical).

New Pin+Chip regulations governing the handling of credit card transactions will render signatures no longer valid as a method of payment confirmation.

The implications for the $80 billion pub and bar industry are monumental.

Without the customer’s PIN number, venues will not be able to charge their credit card if the patron has left without closing off their tab – a common occurrence.

This will result in thousands of dollars in lost sales each night for these venues.

Most venues have two or three cards left behind the bar every night, but bigger venues could have 10, 20 or 30 cards left behind. If people don’t come back, then that’s money venues could never actually receive.

However, for Clipp-integrated venues, in the event that patrons don’t pay, or forget to, the venue management can close tabs directly through their POS systems, eliminating the risk of lost sales and the domino effect that has on stock inventory and accounting.

What has Clipp achieved so far?

Over 130 venues across Australia are already using Clipp, from some of Australia’s most notable small bars, including Bulletin Place and Lobo Plantation to larger groups like Urban Purveyor (The Argyle, The Bavarian Bier Cafe).

Taylor further disclosed to Anthill that they recently closed a funding round of $1.5 million in November led by KIS Capital Partners, have just completed a trial with some very large groups and are beginning national rollouts with them, this will translate into an enormous footprint of venues and momentum.

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