NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - A "C" logo is popping up in store windows all over New York City. It stands for "Cinch," which is how easy the company wants to make shopping at your local businesses.
"It's easy, it's a cinch," says Maya Komerov. "I want to make it the easiest thing to get the best experience of the neighborhood."
Komerov launched Cinch less than a year ago. It's a new mobile payment app that helps users shop at neighborhood businesses and get discounts along the way. In exchange, she says, businesses are able to build a loyal customer base.
"We build tools that enable the businesses to give the right offers to the right customers," she said.
Participating businesses can offer users who pay through the app discounts ranging from 5% to 30% or other perks like free products. Users link a credit card to pay with Cinch in a format similar to, say, Venmo.
In less than a year, the app has amassed 50,000 users and added more than 500 businesses across eight neighborhoods throughout New York City and Long Island, Komerov said. Williamsburg, Park Slope, Long Beach, and Lower Manhattan are among the communities included.
Harry's Italian on Gold Street has been on Cinch for about six months and usually offers app users a 10% discount.
"It's great for our business," Danny Potash, a partner in the restaurant, told FOX 5 NY. He said Harry's processes thousands of dollars' worth of transactions a month on Cinch.
The app charges businesses a fee, which includes custom-tailored marketing and advertising. Potash said that so far, it has paid off.
"We see bigger value down the road, the repeat business, so we want to see these customers come back several times," he said. "That's obviously the key."
Komerov said Cinch is much more than a method of payment. It's about enhancing local communities.
"We don't think about the transaction—we think more about the value we create out of the transaction," she said.
Cinch's next expansion will be into Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill in Brooklyn followed by Astoria in Queens. The hope is to eventually expand beyond New York.