UK-based price comparison service uSwitch won various awards, including 'Most Innovative Use of Mobile' at the MOMA Awards 2017, for its compare and switch app. Here uSwitch explains the background, strategy and results behind the award-winning work.
The uSwitch app was launched on iOS in February 2015. In June 2015, a week before energy suppliers were required to implement QR codes on energy bills, uSwitch re-launched its app as the first mobile app capable of running energy comparisons by reading energy bill QR codes (iOS only). The same functionality was later launched on Android in March 2016.
While all energy suppliers are required to have QR codes on their bills, not every supplier made the information readily available and a lot of behind the scenes work was done to make our QR code reader of real benefit to consumers. Our QR code reader now has a 97% success rate.
Since January 2017, we have started to promote the app alongside our other energy switching channels as a consumer’s personal “energy switching assistant” through our latest uSwitch brand campaign.
Our objectives were as simple as our app; build the best energy QR code reader and get as many people switching and saving money on their energy bills as possible.
uSwitch.com was already mobile responsive but we wanted an app that would reflect the consumer move to mobile and pave the way for incorporating a QR reader when they launched on energy bills. The app was our opportunity to create an “energy switching assistant” and remove another barrier which prevented consumers from switching.
Through our other energy switching channels, we know that for some consumers there are barriers to switching. This ranges from unclear energy bills and people not knowing what tariff they are on, to not having the time to manually enter billing information. Our QR code scanner means consumers will get a personal savings figure, based on their own usage and view those savings instantly, just by pointing their phone at their bill and letting the app do the work.
We also wanted to build the best QR code reader in the industry which we have achieved thanks to a 97% success rate. The energy suppliers themselves had a lot of work to do in order to implement QR codes and unfortunately a lot were missing vital information, meaning we had to work around these supplier issues and develop solutions in order to make the app as easy to use as possible. We then needed to get the app in front of consumers to show the new technology available to them.
The ultimate goal was for uSwitch to create a more personable consumer experience and improve the overall confidence and trust when it comes to switching energy suppliers.
Since the launch of the QR reader with the app we have been pitching it to consumer and lifestyle media as well as technology press in order to reach a wide audience of savvy industry stakeholders and time-poor people who may not have considered switching energy via an app before.
The app was received very well by the media and featured in several positive reviews, including a stand-alone box out in Metro, as well as alongside energy savings tips in titles including The Daily Mirror, The Sun, Woman & Home, Best, Web User, Money Saving Expert, Econsultancy, BT.com and Your Money.
The CBI’s Great Business Debate featured a bylined article by our spokesperson at the time, Ann Robinson, looking at how technology is making a huge difference to consumers in the energy sector, focusing on our app and its ability to read QR codes.
- Since the app launch consumers have saved over £4.1 million by switching suppliers through the app.
- The average consumer saves £360 through the app.
- 90% positive customer feedback reviews on Google Play and iOS.
- Current QR code scan success rate is 97%.
- Since the campaign push this year, our success has included:
- Featured in Google Play’s “Manage your Finances” section from February 2017 to present