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Lock Phone to Save Money


Published on November 16, 2016, at 2:30 p.m.
By Mary Catherine Molay

With the holiday season quickly approaching — as well as midterms — you might be looking for ways to gain extra cash fast. As a student, there is an opportunity at your fingertips that many people do not think about.

Launched in 2014 as an idea from two students at Chico State University, Pocket Points is an app that rewards you for not being on your phone while in class. It can be downloaded on your smartphone for free from the App Store or on GooglePlay. Once it’s downloaded, you simply connect to your campus’ Wifi on your phone and open the app.

Once activated, you lock your phone and the app starts tracking how long it’s been inactive. Depending on how many people at your campus are using the app at once, it determines how quickly you can earn a point! Times can range from 30 minutes to four-minute intervals; however, the points are only available at on-campus locations such as classrooms or libraries.

Photo by Amariotti
Photo by Amariotti

So now you might be asking yourself, “How do I use the points that I earn?” You can use your points at local and online businesses who have partnered with the app. From restaurants to boutiques, there are plenty of ways to save up this holiday season while getting your studying in.

For example, with the online portion of the app, Papa John’s has a deal on Pocket Points that allows you to receive 25 percent off your order for only five points. You can easily earn the five points while being in class or at the library.

With the local portion of the app, I have personally redeemed points to receive a free appetizer. Pocket Points is a great tool to not only help students save a little money, but also to help build stronger relationships between the businesses and their consumer base.

Pocket Points allows companies to earn another form of exposure to college students. The exposure helps with getting people into the door of the business. When I use the app, I look at it as having a coupon to try something new; however, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to check out the benefits of this great app without using it to study.

Photo by Tony Montini
Photo by Tony Montini

The app is a new form of getting people intrigued and willing to learn more about a new or existing business. In fact, Pocket Points can function as a survey for businesses. When looking at their receipts from the night, the businesses are able to know how many people used the coupon on the app. This information helps with building a better relationship with the consumer by discovering who is looking at the app and other ways to get their attention.

The Pocket Points app has been able to mesh within the digital age and attract attention to various businesses. The incentive helps companies get their products out using a different message, which in return gives PR practitioners more to work with.

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