From humble beginnings to huge successes: Why Fingermark™ is the most innovative software firm in the QSR sector
Luke Irving first installed touchscreen POS in a bar he owned in Wellington, New Zealand to reduce the time people spent stuck in the queue and allow customers to breeze through the ordering process. This was in the early 2000s. Back then, self-service digital kiosks were at a nascent stage, and their specific applications in the QSR space were still largely unheard of.
Fast forward to 2005, with a small New Zealand team, Irving worked to launch Fingermark™ by developing a prototype self-service digital kiosk for the QSR market, with indoor and outdoor digital menu boards following soon after to complete the customer experience.
Irving’s big break came when he developed the first self-ordering and payment kiosk for Subway. This opened up the global opportunity for Fingermark™ to secure a contract with Yum Brands, the parent company which operates Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC globally.
Now a household name in tech-based smart solutions, Fingermark™ also works in other sectors to deliver value for its customers through improving business efficiencies, customer experiences, and employee safety. However, the company’s core is firmly in the QSR sector where it began more than 15 years ago.
Fingermark™ continues to explore how convenience and speed of service underpin QSR customer experiences. The company launched Eyecue™ – a software platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) – in 2018 to revolutionise drive-thrus traditionally controlled by loop timers. Eyecue™ has become an even more important tool in the wake of COVID-19, with up to 90% of restaurant traffic now using the drive thru.
But while innovation continues to be the name of the game, partnerships became the company’s primary ingredient for success.
Making collaboration work
But how exactly did Fingermark™ leverage partnerships to scale globally? Irving points to a “pull” sales and marketing strategy that begins by building deep partnerships with large QSR corporates.
“We work directly with customers to pilot new innovations involving them in the development process. We believe in developing with the larger brands so the second and third tiers naturally follow once validated by the leading QSR chains,” Irving added.
As Fingermark™ grew its footprint, it fed on fast and direct customer feedback to drive continuous improvements and evolve its offerings.
Irving emphasises that collaboration is at the heart of their success. “From design thinking to understanding UX and creating user interfaces, we architect and build solutions and deploy to multi-location pilots to gather data. We are in continuous contact with head offices, franchisees and the users that interact with our products,” he added.
Ahead of the pack
If there is one thing that other tech companies can learn from Fingermark™, it’s that solutions make waves if they can be easily adopted with little to no risks involved. From the AI-powered Eyecue™ platform to self-service kiosks and digital displays, Fingermark™ solutions are highly scalable and can be applied to multiple verticals with endless other applications.
“We’ve been able to scale using in-market partners to deploy, service, resell and manufacture our solutions. We have contracts with four of the five largest QSR companies in the world for multiple products which is a feat as very few companies are approved for sale in QSR, let alone for multiple products,” Irving said.
This has allowed us to stay firmly focused on innovation and our core products of AI and data analytics. Our global strategic partner networks have enabled us to scale at pace with low market entry costs,” Irving said. Some of its current partners include: Lenovo (global), USSI Global (global), Velociti (USA), FAMA Technologies (GCC+), KDS (Indonesia), Kalex (Canada), Certeq (Australia & New Zealand) and NCR (global).
From one small office in New Zealand in 2005 to five offices globally in 2021, Fingermark™ has worked its way to becoming one of the biggest digital players in the QSR industry. Name a well-known restaurant brand and Fingermark™ has probably worked with the brand in one way or another. The company now has offices in North America, Brazil, Dubai, and Australia, where it is working with top-tier clients to transform their customer journeys.