It’s been over half a year in the making, and it’s finally here. Ryan and I are incredibly excited to announce the launch of our very first software product, the QuickReceipts API. We’re thankful to those who’ve helped us along the way, especially those who gave us advice and support from the research phase to product planning, website design, marketing strategies, raising capital, and everything in between. It’s an inexplicable feeling bringing an idea to life, and we can’t wait for people to start using our product.
As a brief overview, the QuickReceipts API generates digital receipts accessible through a QR code that consumers can scan with their smartphone cameras (no app required), turning almost any point-of-sale screen into a digital receipt generator. We built this product to help reduce the incredible amount of waste being generated by paper receipts, while also helping businesses save on paper, ink, and even time to replace empty or outdated printers. Most importantly, we’ve made it possible for consumers to receive a digital copy of their transaction without having to provide their personal information at the register.
To show our commitment to solving the paper receipt issue, we’re also excited to announce our GreenReceipts Initiative and our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, the largest non-profit conservation and education organization dedicated to planting trees. For every 25,000 receipts we generate with our API and for every major milestone, we’ll donate a tree to their cause. As part of our launch, we’ve donated our first tree to the organization.
This idea started from a discussion in our apartment on ways we could help solve problems in the world with software. Fast forward to today, and we have a fully functioning product that we are proud to share with our family, friends, and everyone who has and will help us on our journey.
QuickReceipts was born from the idea that receipts are wasteful and inefficient in their current state. Each year, the U.S. consumes over 3.3 million trees and 9.1 billion gallons of water to make paper receipts. In other words, the amount of trees used in the production of paper receipts is the equivalent to cutting down every single tree in Central Park 127 times… every year.
As if that weren’t enough, paper receipts result in 302 million pounds of solid waste and 4.7 billion pounds of CO2 every single year, with the latter being equivalent to more than 425,000 cars on the road. To make matters worse, paper receipts are also difficult to recycle because of the chemicals used in their production.
The amount of waste in mind left us thinking: why do businesses spend so much money on something that ends up in the trash?
While emailed receipts have been a catalyst in reducing the amount of receipt waste, they haven’t they completely replaced paper receipts at physical stores. At QuickReceipts, we believe one of the major problems to digital receipt adoption is due to consumer privacy. As consumers, we’ve denied an option to get an emailed receipt because we don’t want to be spammed with marketing emails, and sometimes we’re not quite sure how our personal information is being used behind the scenes.
We’re not alone either. According to ExpressVPN research, 71% of American consumers are worried about how brands collect and use their personal information.
Not to mention, typing in personal information at the register while there’s a line of people waiting behind you doesn’t sound all that great. Extrapolate this scenario for every customer you want to convert to digital receipts, and we can start to see quickly why these digital receipt options haven’t made the impact that we thought they would.
At QuickReceipts, we believe we have a solution that solves both the environmental impact and the consumer privacy issues of paper receipts. On the surface, it sounds rather simple. Our software generates digital receipts accessible through a QR code that consumers can scan with their smartphone cameras. However, if you take a step back, you’ll see we put in a lot more thought and work into this product than what appears on the surface.
We started out trying to answer any questions around accessibility. In our research, we found that 85% of consumers in the U.S. own a smartphone, and looking at the trends within mobile, we wanted to provide a cost-effective solution that’s easily accessible to both iPhone and Android users.
Additionally, we wanted to provide the most viable alternative to paper receipts at the point of sale, one that’s not only much faster than printed receipts but also offers the same benefits. Since iPhones and most Android smartphones now come with QR code scanners built into the camera, we believed that the QR code would be an ideal solution to help digitize receipts.
In order for this to work, we needed to build a product that could be installed and used by any software developer at virtually any skill level. For this reason, we architected and built the QuickReceipts API from the ground up with developers in mind. We made it easy for developers to install our API in almost any point of sale software, turning almost any checkout screen into a digital receipt generator.
Through the development process, we continuously emphasized speed and privacy for consumers. Our receipts were designed to be generated on screen in less than a second, so within moments of opting for a digital receipt, you’ll have a copy of your transaction on your smartphone before you even leave the checkout lane. No need to give the store employee or manually input your phone number or email at the register, and to ensure absolute privacy, we’ve anonymized all receipt data on the backend.
Our goal is to give consumers a quick, private way to get their digital receipts, and by doing so, we hope to make an impact, however large or small, on reducing the amount of waste generated by paper receipts. Through our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, we hope to provide a truly net positive solution by removing the cause and restoring the source. As our company grows, we’ll be able to afford to make a larger impact on the environment. With our API, we truly believe we’re one step closer to that goal.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading! Check out our other blogs, subscribe to our newsletter, reach out to us on Twitter @QuickReceiptsCo, or visit our website at www.quickreceipts.co.