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Sun Cashback

Cash Back Wallop

How a start-up approach led to dramatic cost reductions and a clearer path to success. Cashback.


Following successful results with the Sun Savers project, DSKY were recommended to the News UK New Business Ventures team to assist with a new loyalty and engagement project.


The objective was to enter the UK's competitive cashback market. Customers are rewarded with money back on their purchases, and merchants on the platform are rewarded with greater spend per customer and proof of a return on their investment.


The customer experience, underlying technology and merchant categories were all yet to be defined, and DSKY were brought in from the discovery phase of the project.


The brief initially was twofold:

  • Confirm our tech requirements for the product via competitor and market analysis

  • Deliver a proof of concept product, in a cost effective manner, within a short time frame

Sun Cashback App Store.png


Following the DSKY principle, we wanted to not only drive lean, start-up based methodology to achieve the ambition of the project, but we recommended an extra deliverable to the brief.

The brief became threefold:

  • Confirm our tech requirements for the product via competitor and market analysis

  • Outline our riskiest assumptions of any cashback offering, what might cause the product to fail, and how we can monitor what success looks like

  • Deliver a proof of concept able to prove our assumptions, in a cost effective manner, within a short time frame

Without having clear KPIs, or understanding where the biggest threats to success, future decisions to progress, pivot or abandon are made partially blind. While its impossible to have perfect information at all stages, it's possible to proactively address the areas of imperfect information and take steps to improve.

To achieve a solution that covered this in-depth and wide ranging brief, we broke it down into key areas:


-    Competitor Analysis: We wanted to know which features would drive enjoyment, stickiness, and value. To make it possible we analysed the cashback features in both the UK and globally,  mapping each against business value, customer wants and tech complexity to understand the highest value driving features & a prioritised list

-    Scalability: The technical challenges and costs are substantial for a product like this.  However there were a number of existing companies which met our feature requirements. We began a thorough Request For Proposal (RFP) process, and went out to market with a list of clearly defined requirements, in exchange for merchant contacts and marketing clout via various media channels.

-    Industry Experts: After receiving the responses from the RFP tender, we carried out tech due dilligence for each company, including a product evaluation and open discussions around long term tech strategy and partnership opportunties.

-    Product Management: We analysed the as-is and to-be functionality of each provider, in order to be confident that our end product goals and delivery timeframes would be met.

-    Analytics: We really focused on the KPIs outlined in the discovery phase, and ensured that it was possible to accurately monitor these metrics from launch. While this added complexity to the initial build, it was invaluable for the long term ambitions of the project and to ensure that future pivot/progress decisions were data driven.

-    Programme management: DSKY were the appointed tech leads on the project and as a result, were required to facilitate a number of workstreams. From the 3rd party tech management, UX and design, branding, analytics, data and testing.


Each of these components came together over the course of an intensive but highly productive 6 months to allow us to deliver exactly what we set out to…


Together with News UK New Business Ventures we outlined an innovative product strategy to C-Suite executives at Newscorp. A key part of the end-to-end delivery of this project, we were able to define a clear tech route to market, ensuring sign-off at the earliest opportunity.


With our technical recommendations based on lean principles. the relatively low risk/cost proposal  from our tech provider Airtime Rewards meant that the contract included zero up front development cost for News UK in exchange for a wider marketing partnership. A real result for the project.

We were able to deliver the new app Sun Cashback to the app store in just 3 months from contract terms being agreed. DSKY made sure that no stone was left unturned and no risk unmitigated, so there were no tech delays in the project going live. 

Sun Cashback is now 5 star rated on the app stores, marking the 2nd consecutive DSKY led product to achieve 5/5 rating with News UK, following the success of Sun Savers.


Here’s what our client had to say about working with us:

DSKY have been awesome helping out with this project.


Harry Burt, Director of New Business Ventures, NUK

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