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The Quipin app is free for customers, but businesses have to pay to be involved. (Kevin Yarr/CBC)

A Charlottetown company is launching a new smart phone app it hopes will replace the loyalty reward cards for businesses people carry around in their wallets.

Quipin was developed by three university students as part of a contest sponsored by Timeless Technologies of Charlottetown. 

Trius Tours, the operators of Charlottetown Transit, is one of the first companies to sign up for the program. App developer John Williams has been riding the bus this week showing people how it works.

"Right at the front of the bus there's a code ... you scan that," said Williams.

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Timeless Technologies president John Rowe sees big potential for Quipin. (CBC)

Scanning the code on the bus provides points that can be redeemed at the Shopper's Drug Mart on Kirkwood Drive in Charlottetown.

"It's going to be a very interactive experience," said Williams.

"Not only can they get points for scanning, but they can do things like provide feedback."

Quipin was picked up by Timeless, which now owns the rights and provides a royalty to the three young developers. The app is free for users. Businesses pay to be part of the program.

"I think this app is tremendous for attracting new customers to transit," said Trius Tours owner Mike Cassidy.

The developers hope Quipin it will take off with businesses across the Island. Timeless Technologies owner John Rowe hopes to take it further.

"Around the Maritimes, Atlantic Canada and hopefully the rest of the country soon thereafter," said Rowe.

The first regional business could come from Trius Tours. If the pilot of the app goes well, Cassidy hopes to use it with his new Maritime bus company, which is set to start up in December and replace Acadian Lines bus routes. He is also in discussions with several companies apart from Shopper's about partnering in the rewards program.