DSKY Digital Agency


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



YEAR: 2021

DEMO: Sun Cashback


In the wake of our successful collaboration on the Sun Savers project, DSKY garnered a recommendation from the News UK New Business Ventures team to spearhead a new loyalty and engagement initiative.

The overarching goal was to make an impactful entry into the fiercely competitive UK cashback market. Our strategy aimed at rewarding customers with monetary returns on their purchases, fostering increased spending per customer for merchants, and substantiating a tangible return on their investment.

The project commenced with undefined parameters regarding customer experience, underlying technology, and merchant categories, prompting DSKY’s involvement from the project’s inception during the discovery phase.

The initial brief evolved into a dual mandate:

  1. Confirm our tech requirements for the product through competitor and market analysis.
  2. Deliver a proof of concept product, ensuring cost-effectiveness within a constrained timeframe.


Adhering to the core DSKY principle, we sought not only to implement a lean, startup-oriented methodology but also recommended an additional facet to the brief.

The refined brief evolved into a tripartite directive:

  1. Confirm our tech requirements for the product via competitor and market analysis.
  2. Identify the riskiest assumptions in any cashback offering, potential failure points, and metrics for success monitoring.
  3. Deliver a proof of concept capable of validating our assumptions, cost-effectively, within the stipulated timeframe.

Clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and an understanding of potential challenges are paramount for informed decision-making. While perfection in information is elusive, proactive addressing of areas with imperfect information facilitates informed progress, pivoting, or abandonment.

To methodically address this comprehensive brief, we segmented our approach into key areas:

  • Competitor Analysis: Mapping cashback features globally against business value, customer preferences, and technological complexity to discern high-value features.
  • Scalability: Conducting a rigorous Request For Proposal (RFP) process to identify existing companies meeting feature requirements, balancing technical challenges and costs.
  • Industry Experts: Performing tech due diligence post-RFP, evaluating products, engaging in discussions on long-term tech strategy, and exploring partnership opportunities.
  • Product Management: Analyzing as-is and to-be functionality of potential providers to ensure alignment with end product goals and delivery timeframes.
  • Analytics: Focusing on KPIs outlined in the discovery phase, enhancing complexity in the initial build for robust long-term data-driven decisions.
  • Programme Management: Steering diverse workstreams including 3rd party tech management, UX and design, branding, analytics, data, and testing.

This amalgamation of efforts unfolded over an intense yet highly productive 6-month period, culminating in the successful delivery of our envisioned solution.


In collaboration with News UK New Business Ventures, we presented an innovative product strategy to C-Suite executives at Newscorp. As the appointed tech leads, our lean principles informed technical recommendations that, combined with a low-risk, cost-effective proposal from our tech provider, Airtime Rewards, resulted in zero upfront development costs for News UK in exchange for an extensive marketing partnership—a significant triumph for the project.

The newly launched Sun Cashback app reached the app stores within a swift 3 months from contract agreement. DSKY’s meticulous approach ensured a seamless and timely project launch, earning Sun Cashback a commendable 5-star rating on app stores. This achievement marks the second consecutive 5/5 rating for DSKY-led products with News UK, following the success of Sun Savers.