Some shoppers love couponing, others rely on loyalty cards for special offers, promotions and reduced prices. If you're a clever, thrifty shopper your wallet is no doubt bursting at the seams with loyalty cards for Ikea, Sainsbury's, Target and countless other cards for shops you may never return to, but you just couldn't turn down the smiling shop assistant's offer of signing you up for the establishment's loyalty programme. Even developers have experienced this, which is why some of them have come up with handy applications that help render physical cards superfluous. FidMe - Loyalty cards is a good example of such an app and we've taken a closer look at it for you. Check out our review after the jump!
Features & Use
Test device: LG Optimus Black
Android version: 2.3.4
Before any of us testers start reviewing an app for you, we always start by reading the app description in order to get a first impression. FidMe - Loyalty cards has a little promo video which I of course watched. My first impression (before having tested the app out for myself): FidMe seems user friendly and useful.
The next step: I checked out the permissions. I didn't understand why some of these permissions are required and wrote to the devs asking them to advise. I'll update this review with their response ASAP. Anyway, I downloaded the ca. 6 Mb (which can also be moved to the device's SD card).
Next, you will have to register. I wasn't able to do so within the app (it had issues with my email address), so I registered on the website instead. In order to register quite a lot of personal information is required (name, mobile phone number, postal code/zip and date of birth).
Once you've registered we recommend following the brief intro as it's an excellent means for getting acquainted with the app. FidMe is available in ten languages, so if English isn't your first language check to see if the app is available in your language (oh, and check out the links below, chances are we've translated this review into your language, too ).
The app is split into two categories or rather card types: there's an option for scanning barcodes as well as using stamp cards. Almost 2 800 loyalty programmes in over 30 countries is a pretty impressive amount of loyalty card options.
Loyalty cards are easy to add to the app. Open the programme, confirm that you are the card holder (and if you aren't don't forget to add the actual card holder's full name) and scan the barcode. That's about all there is to it! You can then go to whichever shop is nearest to you (this is something you can easily suss out thanks to geolocation), select the card that is required and show the shop assistants the barcode. Oh, and I guess it goes without saying that you can leave the actual card at home.
Stamp cards can also be added to the virtual repertoire. About 2 000 establishments that offer stamp cards are in the app's register (most of which are located in France). The concept is a clever one and we hope to see it develop more. Adding stamp cards works similarly and just as well as adding and using barcodes. The difference is that stamp cards work with QR codes and NFC. A lot of fast food places and snack joints offer this type of card and they're easy to find thanks to geolocation.
Also, as a FidMe user you are entitled to FidMe points via which you can get discounts, special promotions and even freebies. FidMe is in and of itself a kind of loyalty card.
You can also check out the FidMe news section for the latest FidMe updates.
We appreciate that the devs took time to consider even the smallest details. This becomes obvious in the personal settings options. You can limit access to your personal card be introducing your own code. There's also a display lock which then blocks cards in landscape format, making things a lot easier when you're standing at the till. Also, the luminosity can be set to increase automatically, again making scanning easier.
What's left to say? FidMe struck me as a useful app right off the bat and my test runs confirmed this first impression. The app is super convenient, well thought-out and easy to use, and it comes with a ton of features (of which I've only outlined a few). There are a lot of features I didn't mention (in the interest of keeping this review from getting too long), such as the option to display cards in a certain order or to categorise them, making the cards you tend to use most often easier to access.
So far, 1.35 million users and scanned 5.5 million cards attest to the developers' very good work, as do 11 awards and counting.
The FidMe team is very quick to get back to users with useful feedback and troubleshooting (I speak from personal experience and can honestly say that the support is top banana).
The only time I experienced any issues was when I was trying to sign up, but aside from that I'm pretty impressed by this handy little application!
Screen & Controls
FidMe - Loyalty cards is easy to use thanks to its clear structure. A brief intro welcomes first time users, making it possible to jump right into the app rather than fumbling about with it trying to figure out how it works. A nice bonus: you can change the app's appearance by picking one of the nine different skins.
Speed & Stability
FidMe - Loyalty cards runs smoothly sturdily, though it did crash once at the very beginning of our test run. After we got off to that initial bad start, the app performed flawlessly, however.
FidMe - Loyalty cards is free and can be found in Google Play. There app really has a lot to offer users, it's well made and is a great means of simplifying the shopping experience—and it's ad free. We tip our hats and are awarding it full points in this category.