October 02, 2014 12:12 ET

Capital Teas Shifts to Mobile Payments and Loyalty Program Powered by LevelUp

Leading Tea Purveyor Launches Mobile Payments App With Passbook Integration, Focused on Improving Customer Experience With One-touch Payments

ANNAPOLIS, MD--(Marketwired - October 02, 2014) - More and more brands are making moves to leverage the rapid shift to mobile by customers in the wake of Apple's mobile wallet announcement. Capital Teas, a leading specialty tea provider headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, has selected LevelUp to power its mobile payment and loyalty app. In addition to enhancing customers' mobile experience by providing one easy place to access their method of payment and loyalty rewards, Capital Teas' app will also place the Capital Teas card right in Passbook, just next to the customer's other payment method choices, namely Visa, Amex and MasterCard. But only when customers pay with Capital Teas' branded card will they automatically accrue/redeem rewards.

"Our customers demand high-quality loose teas, herbal infusions and excellent customer service. They also expect a simple, user-friendly mobile experience, and we intend to give them exactly that," says Capital Teas CEO and co-founder Peter Martino. "We don't want our customers to have a disjointed payment and loyalty experience by having to open one app to pay, then another app to track their loyalty progress. We want them to simply open up their mobile wallet, see all their payment options in one place and pick the one that's going to provide them with the ability to pay, and get rewarded, with a single tap."

LevelUp, the industry's leading mobile-first payment and loyalty platform, enables merchants to provide customers with a seamless loyalty and mobile payment experience, while giving brands the rich, real-time customer data they need to run a successful loyalty program.

"Mobile payments is the next phase of how customers will pay. Apple has made that very clear," says Justin Schaeffer, VP of Business Development at LevelUp. "What the mobile payments conversation has to include, especially in the restaurant industry, is the idea that mobile payments is the means to an end. Owning the payment experience means you can learn about the customer, reward the customer, treat each customer as an individual, not just a transaction. Businesses should be excited about having the opportunity to build on the mobile payment experience and leverage it to lock in customer love."

Customers using the Capital Teas app, and integrated "Pass," will unlock rewards each time they reach a certain spending threshold at Capital Teas. With its strong online retail presence in mind, Capital Teas also plans to incorporate in-app ordering in a second release for an even better customer experience.

"As we invite customers to pay with their phone, we want to do it in a way that enhances both the customer loyalty experience and our ability to learn the preferences of each customer," says Manelle Martino, Chairman and co-founder of Capital Teas. "Without the ability to tie our loyalty program into the payment, we won't know if it's working either for the customer, or for our business. But connected, we finally have the insight to know what's working, what's not and improving as we go."

The Capital Teas app is slated to launch in November and will be available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play.

About Capital Teas
Founded in Annapolis, MD, in 2007 by Peter and Manelle Martino, Capital Teas is a leading tea provider steeped in rich history. Manelle Martino is the fifth consecutive generation of her family involved in the tea trade, which began when her great-great-grandfather, Francis Van Reyk, immigrated to Sri Lanka in 1870 to plant and oversee some of the very first Ceylon tea estates. Capital Teas will own and operate 12 locations in 4 states by the end of 2014, and serves their national and international following online at  

About LevelUp
LevelUp is one of the largest open payments networks. Consumers use their LevelUp account to pay with their smart device or web browser, demonstrating the fastest and easiest way to pay. Businesses accept transactions for just 1.95% flat, thus enabling dramatic cost savings they can pass along to customers. Learn more at

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