Ditch the Paper Coupons, Reward Cards

West Suburban venture consolidates your savings into one card

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ditch the coupons and throw away the punch cards. | Cityswipe.com (Published Thursday, Jan 20, 2011)

    From your morning coffee to the nail salon, the wine shop and a downtown pub, residents of West Suburban Geneva no longer need paper coupons to save money.

    A new venture -- Cityswipe -- consolidates all those coupons and reward cards into one easy-to-carry card.

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    "It’s this one card that is made from biodegradable plastic. Instead of having to print off coupons or upload them, once you register your card all coupons for all services and stores are put on the card," explained Andrew Hartman , who started the company with a friend he's known since the fourth grade.

    The idea really came out of annoyance, said co-founder Tim Naylor.

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    "We wanted to cut down on paper waste, like all the stuff you get in the mail. And it gets so irritating. We thought there has got to be a better solution to what we are seeing here," he said.

    For example, Old Towne Pub in Geneva is offering a "buy six, get one free" deal on sandwiches and wraps. Instead of using a punch card for Old Towne Pub and having a separate punch card for the coffee shop around the corner, Cityswipe combines it all.

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    Old Towne Pub owner Chris Cellini touts the program's success.

    "I've been dealing with advertising for 16 years and its all paper, so when they brought this concept I was really intrigued because you can put different types of offers on the card. It’s so much more than just a coupon. We also use them to promote entertainment and specials," he said.

    Hartman is quick to point out that Cityswipe is not a competitor to services like Groupon.

    "We are not a daily deal.  That’s not what we want.  We want to go after all the small mom and pop shops and help them out in today’s economy. This is an incentive for locals to shop local, buy local, support local businesses and get rewarded," he said.

    Hartman and Naylor partnered with a company in Atlanta that developed the software from the ground up. Cityswipe is now in multiple locations in Geneva and St. Charles and registering a card is free.