US smart mobility app offers cash rewards to users who stay at home during Covid-19 pandemic

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Hytch Rewards, a technology solution that incentivizes smarter mobility decisions, today announced Shelter in Place, a new feature for its popular mobile app. Designed to encourage behaviour that will limit the spread of Covid-19. Shelter in Place will pay daily cash rewards to sponsored US residents who self-quarantine at home.

As a growing number of states issue recommendations or legal orders for citizens to ’shelter in place,’ the Hytch platform will give employers and governments greater ability to confirm and manage compliance in a positive way. The cash rewards delivered through the app, which tracks a user’s location, are being funded by employers, governments and brands that care about the well-being of their employees and communities.

Employers can offer Shelter in Place rewards to:

  • Encourage employees to engage in safe and healthy habits that benefit themselves, their family, their team and community
  • Ease the financial burden of being furloughed or having to telework
  • Ensure that work-from-home team members actually are at home

Governments and corporate brands can offer cash rewards to incentivize sheltering in place for larger groups and populations.

Until now, the Hytch Rewards app has primarily been used to reward commuter behaviour that reduces traffic congestion and emissions, or that encourages carpooling in areas with limited public transit. With the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, many commuters are needing to become housebound.

Mark A Cleveland, co-founder and CEO of Hytch Rewards

“What America needs right now is to flatten the curve of Covid-19 infection,“ said Mark A. Cleveland, co-founder and CEO of Hytch Rewards. “National smartphone data tells us some regions are doing better than others at social distancing, and we at Hytch believe rewards can be a highly effective tool for influencing human behavior. Our partners decide what those cash rewards will be, and even if they’re minimal, they still have a positive impact.”

Among the first employers to partner on the Shelter in Place initiative is the office of US Congressman Jim Cooper, from Hytch Rewards’ home state of Tennessee.

Hytch Rewards CEO Mark A Cleveland, right, with Congressman Jim Cooper

“We’re offering a small daily reward via the Hytch app to thank my staff for working hard for my constituents, from home,” said Cooper. “These are challenging times for public policy, and there’s great potential value in technology that enables communities to monitor and reward sheltering in place, for as long as policy demands.”

Another supporter of the initiative is Greater Nashville Technology Council, an advocacy group for Middle Tennessee’s US$7.5-billion emerging tech industry.

“I respect the quick response from Hytch to leverage their platform for rewarding a different type of good behavior,” said Brian Moyer, GNTC’s president and CEO. “This is a great example of the innovation from greater Nashville’s tech sector as we focus on solutions for containing Covid-19.”

As a contribution to coronavirus response efforts, Hytch is waiving all set-up and monthly fees for any US state or local government, or private employer of any size that joins the Shelter in Place program before April 10. There is no minimum contract. Potential partners can learn more at http://www.hytch.me/shelter-in-place-rewards.

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About Author

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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