Canary Wharf: How WyzePay offers discounts at MMy Wood Wharf

How the Level39-based fintech startup gets customers who use it to pay, 10%-15% off

WyzePay has teamed up with traders at MMy Wood Wharf to offer customers discounts

Subscribe to our free Wharf Whispers newsletter here

Collaboration is incresingly the lifeblood of the economy – especially when there’s something in it for consumers.

Everyone loves a deal, right? And this is why Canary Wharf-based fintech startup WyzePay’s latest venture should be celebrated. 

The prepayment loyalty app has welcomed 10 traders at MMy Wood Wharf in George Street to its roster of participating local businesses (the Temple Of Art And Music basement jazz club at the venue is coming soon, too). 

That means anyone signed up for WyzePay can get 10%-15% off anything sold by them simply by paying through the platform.

It works like this. Users download the app.

They purchase credit with one of the traders using a credit or debit card with their money going straight to that business. 

As a thank-you for paying up front, the trader gives the user a discount depending on how much credit they buy. 

The more you purchase, the greater the discount.

For example, the user might pay £9 but get £10 of credit if the offer is 10%. 

That balance is then stored in a closed digital wallet and the user pays the trader by scanning a QR code on the trader’s phone through the WyzePay app on their device.

Buying credit and paying take seconds, meaning a balance can easily be topped up to cover a purchase. 

WyzePay head of business development Anya Markitanova

In essence, the system is similar to loyalty schemes, where customers get something for free as a reward for repeat business. 

“It’s basically a smarter way to spend,” said Anya Markitanova, head of business development at WyzePay, which is based at Canary Wharf’s Level39 tech community.

“You use it to get rewards for your money and for your loyalty.

“We all have cards from coffee shops in our wallets with one or two stamps from goodness knows where.

“We forget about them or lose them.

“Sometimes we get all nine stamps and a coffee for free or some other perk.

“What we’re doing is reversing the whole way that businesses interact with customers by allowing companies to reward spending up front.

“There’s no waiting to get a full set of stamps.”

This means there’s always a reward for the customer, however much they spend with a business through WyzePay, with a minimum of 10%.

While the company is already working with the likes of The Grandstand Bar, Obica, Boisdale, 640East, Seoul Bird and Brick Lane Bagel in Canary Wharf, MMy Wood Wharf is something new for the team.

“It’s one of the less well-known locations in the busy ecosystem of the estate – a lot of people do not know that this wonderful, cosy place is there and we’re on a mission to change that,” said Anya.

“It’s our first merchant group on WyzePay because it’s different to the other venues. 

“It’s a marketplace with different traders in the same space so, by definition it attracts various kinds of customer.

WyzePay users can save 10%-15% with 10 traders at MMy Wood Wharf

“That gives us access to a wider audience who might not even know what they want for breakfast, lunch or dinner – whether it’s gelato, pizza or Lebanese cuisine – but they can use WyzePay with any of the traders.”

There is a lot to choose from at MMy.

There’s Fresco La Pizza Napoletana serving, well, pizza, Dez Amore’s freshly made pasta, Bindas Eatery’s richly spiced Indian dishes, Dim Sum Lab’s Chinese dumplings, Maki And Bowl’s Hawaiian-Japanese cuisine and gelato, pastries and coffee from Badiani.

There’s also Levantine food from The Lebanese Table, craft beer from The Italian Job, cocktails from Ethika and fresh food, ingredients and supplies from MM Grocery.

A deal with the venue’s basement jazz club – The Vineyard – run by the Temple Of Art And Music, is also in the pipeline.

Anya said: “Personally, I’m a huge fan of the coffee from Badiani, the diet-friendly poke from Maki And Bowl and the Espresso Martinis from Ethika. 

“Our platform works very well for people who plan what they’re going to spend, but equally for last-minute decision makers.

“It takes a few seconds to buy credit through the app, so you can do it on the spot.

“Loyalty cards would tend to get lost or forgotten, but we all carry our phones with us everywhere so your WyzePay digital wallet is with you all the time.

“All you need is a charger and a connection to the internet.”

The key to WyzePay is that it doesn’t just work for the consumer.

Obviously Cafe Nero hasn’t just been giving away its 10th coffee for free out of the goodness of the late, crazed emperor’s heart.

“We create value for traders and retailers too,” said Anya.

“As a business, it’s always helpful to have cash today rather than tomorrow and the money goes straight to the trader when a user buys credit.

“Then their customers feel good when they spend that credit and that helps the business create a long-term relationship with consumers.

“There can be a misconception, because we operate a closed digital wallet, that WyzePay is a kind of cryptocurrency.

“That’s not the case. We trade online in Pounds Sterling, the official currency of the UK and we don’t hold any money.

MMy Wood Wharf’s sustainable food market is located in Canary Wharf’s George Street

“The digital wallet is just a representation of the balance a customer holds with a particular trader.

“When you buy credit it goes up and, when you spend through the app with the trader, it goes down. 

“The discount with all the traders who have signed up at MMy Wood Wharf is currently 10%-15%, but we actually allow all the businesses to control the level of discount and minimum spend.

“Different discounts can serve different purposes, so the traders can quickly adapt to the ever-changing landscape.

“They might, for example, offer a limited discount at a particular time if they have a seasonal offering.

“People tend to buy less gelato in the colder months, for instance, so it would be possible for Badiani to remind customers they are still there with a bigger discount.

“It’s always more tasty when you get more gelato for your money.”

With WyzePay now live at MMy, it’s hard to see why anyone would pay with a card instead. 

You can download the WyzePay app here



Bindas Eatery

This powerfully spiced dish comes with plentiful rice and will leave your mouth tingling and your soul burning for just one more rich forkful

  • Full price: £15 
  • WyzePay: From £12.75


The Lebanese Table

One for the cheese lovers, this hot pot is a truly enormous quantity of silken, melted delight, served with plentiful flatbread and garnished with black cumin seeds. The headline halloumi retains its structure, sat in a stretch bath of cheese just waiting to be mopped up 

  • Full price: £11.90
  • WyzePay: From £10.12


Fresco La Pizza Napoletana

Classic Naples-style pizza served with great rapidity and a wealth of fresh ingredients strewn across its surface. While spicy on the tongue, this expression of a fiery stalwart also features an endearing sweetness in the mouth

  • Full price: £14.40
  • WyzePay: From £12.24


The Italian Job

While this friendly, gluten free IPA isn’t enough to blow the bloody doors off at a comforting 4.7%, its complex blend of pine and citrus notes should satisfy – especially at up to £1 off per pint, when paying with the app

  • Full price: £6.90
  • WyzePay: From £5.87


Badiani Gelato

Already a Wharf favourite since its arrival on the estate opposite Waitrose, the gelato is thick and creamy and the sorbet smooth and sharp. The combination of pistachio and lemon in my cup is a winner, but then what do you expect from a brand that takes its heritage from a store in Florence that started serving top quality ices in 1932?

  • Full price: £4.80
  • WyzePay: From £4.08


Dez Amore

This is luxury in a bowl. It seems pasta and sauce simply wasn’t enough for the chefs at Dez Amore, who decided to dump a fat lump of burrata in the centre of this dish. If you’re already on track to ordering, adding bacon (£1.40) and Parmigiano (70p), is a natural progression and well worth it

  • Full price: £14.70
  • WyzePay: From £12.50


MM Grocery

This store is packed with all manner of fresh and dry ingredients, also offering sustainable shampoo and wine from the barrel. The fresh gnocchi is as soft as a cloud on the tongue, ideal paired with fresh pesto

  • Full price: £3.20
  • WyzePay: From £2.72


Maki And Bowl

The poke revolution has swept through London and it’s easy to see why. The combination of raw fish and fresh ingredients is pretty hard to resist, especially when it looks like this

  • Full price: £12.50
  • Wyze: From £10.63


Dim Sum Lab

Dumplings are, when done well, one of those comfort foods that are far too tempting. These soft, juicy parcels fall into that category – the kind of plate that disappears all too quickly, necessitating a top-up on Wyze and a fresh visit to the counter

  • Full price: £9
  • Wyze: From £7.65



For those in the know, Ethika has long been a go-to for quality cocktails on the estate. Snuggled in a corner of MMy Wood Wharf, this excellent bar mixes a sparkling menu with the enthusiasm and charm of its staff. Its salt-rim Margarita is an ethereal, light-touch take on a classic that slips down all too easily. Expect delicate shards of lime slicing neatly through the alcohol

  • Full price: £12.50
  • Wyze: From £10.63

Find out more about MMy Wood Wharf here

Read more: Sign up for the Santa Stair Climb at One Canada Square

Read Wharf Life’s e-edition here

Subscribe to our free Wharf Whispers newsletter here

- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
Subscribe To Wharf Life

Canary Wharf: How WyzePay aims to save its users cash on regular purchases

Level39-based startup uses pre-pay to guarantee retailers income and consumers discounts

Subscribe to our free Wharf Whispers newsletter here

What if I told you I could take £400 and instantly give you an extra £100 to spend at a specific venue in Canary Wharf?

Well, I can’t, but WyzePay can.

The startup, now based at tech community Level39 in One Canada Square, relies on the premise that businesses will be prepared to offer better prices to customers who pre-pay for their services.

Suppose, for example, I get a coffee from the same place every day on my way into the office (yes, I’m not hybrid working on Fridays or anything like that).

It’s habit – a ritual that I enjoy – and it costs me £3.20 per day.

For the sake of argument, let’s say I work 47 full weeks each year, so the bill would be £752. 

Provided I’m happy to use WyzePay – and cough up the cash up front in chunks of £400 – that cost will only be £601.60.

I wonder what I’ll buy with the £150.40 that I’ll save? 

“The current way of paying for things – credit and debit cards – has been around since the middle of last century,” said Ian Rae, CEO  at WyzePay.

“From a consumer perspective, we thought there could be a better way of doing things.”

Born in Mile End, the grandson of a docker, things have somewhat come full circle for Ian.

During an extensive career in technology for financial services firms, he’d moved steadily eastwards ending up in Hainault before heading back in, to Wapping High Street.

Ironically, his aunt told him that his grandad hated the building he wound up moving into as it was formerly a sugar warehouse and the commodity was too heavy to nick.

In a sense – albeit completely legal – WyzePay is also about getting something for nothing. Ian and co-founder Joe Channer decided to relocate the firm to the heart of Docklands, following a spell proving the concept in Queen’s Park.

They are now engaged on applying its offering across the Canary Wharf estate to demonstrate its benefits both to consumers and businesses.

“When developing the idea, we looked at Starbucks, which in 2018 put its loyalty scheme on an app and raised about $1.5bn in a matter of months,” said Ian.

“There was obviously something in the idea that people would be willing to prepay for things they were going to do anyway and that would benefit the retailer.”

For the consumer, the attraction is simple.

Pay up front and get a discount on what you’re buying. 

WyzePay offers users the ability to buy credit in the form of coins dedicated to a specific retailer. These are then held in a digital wallet and can be spent with the venue via the app. This example shows the difference in savings by pre-paying for £30 and £500 at Boisdale Of Canary Wharf in Cabot Square

“You’re going to get a better return than from that money just sitting in a current account, so it’s a no-brainer,” said Ian.

“The merchant gets the cash up front – which is extremely valuable for a business – and the discount rewards the customer who keeps coming and loves the service.

“It’s buy now, take more later – a bit more responsible than take now and pay later.”

WyzePay is currently undergoing a growth spurt. Ian and the team are in the process of striking deals with various restaurants, bars and businesses in Canary Wharf, with some already live and available to use.

At present, coins can be purchased for The Grandstand Bar, Boisdale Of Canary Wharf, 640East and Brick Lane Bagel with each offering up to 20% – meaning an outlay of £400 gets you £500 of credit at the venue.

Seoul Bird and Obica have also signed up, offering maximum discounts of 11% and 15% respectively. The minimum discount for all venues is 10%.

WyzePay’s tech is blockchain based, allowing it flexibility of form in the future although, at present, credit bought for one business can only be used at that venue.

“We’re in active discussion with several other businesses – it’s important to get the right fit,” said Ian.

“In this phase we’re aiming for 10-20 retailers by the end of October with about 1,000-2,000 consumers using the platform.

640East is offering up to 20% off via WyzePay

“That allows us to unlock some more funding and then to push on with the project.

“Canary Wharf is a great place to do this because it’s that community approach which fits with what we want to do further down the line.

“We have an idea to explore a community coin, where instead of spending the credit with a specific retailer, it would be possible to use it with any of the retailers that are signed up.

“We’d also like to set up an exchange where credit could be moved from one business to another.

“Then it becomes an alternative way of paying for things and a way to disrupt some of the lazier players in the market.

“If you look at gift cards, for example, you have an industry that’s really quite inefficient.

“It’s well known that even though it’s digital, a percentage of the money that’s been paid just sits there and isn’t spent.

“That’s no good if I’m the giver or the person receiving the gift – we think there is a better way of doing things. 

“As a business, our revenue comes from a percentage on the purchase of coins through WyzePay, which is charged to the merchant.

“However, every time you use a credit card there are charges they are paying and we cost less than that.”

Boisdale Of Canary Wharf is offering up to 20% off on the platform

Right now, WyzePay is all about awareness – signing up businesses for its platform and attracting users to give it a go.

That includes the likes of sponsoring the Action For Kids Beach Volleyball in Canada Square Park, which runs until September 28, 2023, and reaching out to companies on the estate to explain the offer.

“We’re focused on hospitality  because it’s easy for people to get their heads around,” said Ian.

“But really WyzePay can be applied wherever there’s a supply chain.

“The options are endless – but it’s better to start somewhere to demonstrate what it does.

“We’re also very clear that we won’t be for everyone – the lazy, rich and indolent, for example. It’s for people who want to get a good deal.

“Our dream is that WyzePay will one day be used as a verb.

“Imagine you’re in a restaurant and someone says: ‘I’ll WyzePay that’.”

That, of course, would put it in the big leagues alongside hoover, google and, increasingly, Uber (which hasn’t quite dropped the capital letter yet).

Just remember, it got big on the Wharf first.

Find out more about WyzePay here

Seoul Bird is offering up to 11% off via WyzePay

Read more: Sign up for the Santa Stair Climb at One Canada Square

Read Wharf Life’s e-edition here

Subscribe to our free Wharf Whispers newsletter here

- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
Subscribe To Wharf Life