The Hi-Tech Investor: Beenz means points - for loyal web users

Beenz is an electronic loyalty scheme for internet shoppers. Web users earn Beenz by ordering from internet stores, or even just by visiting websites. They can then use their Beenz to buy goods, services and information online or trade them in for a discount on sites that are part of the Beenz scheme.

The new currency is global, and is based around the Beenz bank. To start collecting Beenz, internet users need to open an account with Beenz on its website.

This is a pretty straightforward process as Beenz requires little more than an internet address and password to register. Visitors who sign up soon will be credited with 500 Beenz.

So far, the number of UK-specific merchants in the Beenz programme is limited. The main merchant is 21Store (, which sells electronic goods such as mobile phones and digital cameras.

Others include the Business Division, an internet service provider based in Belfast, and UK Student, a student information site.

Beenz has set a target of 10 million account holders by 2000, and 1 billion Beenz in circulation by May this year. The company will need to sign up more stores if it is to achieve this, but so far the idea looks promising.

Surf the net on an Egg

First it was Barclays Bank; then, last week, Egg, the financial services company owned by the Prudential, announced it would be providing free internet access to its customers.

Egg provides savings accounts, mortgages and loans over the phone and through its website. The bank wants to encourage more customers to deal with it over the internet.

Over the next few weeks, the company will add features such as on-line statements and balance enquiries to its website.

The Egg internet account is being provided by Virtual Internet Provider, which is part-owned by the computer company Fujitsu.

The Microsoft Network will be supplying content for the web service, including news, sport, travel and computing information.

In a related deal, Egg will also be offering discounted Fujitsu PCs - supplied with a modem, printer and financial management software - to customers. The company has not yet announced the prices for the Pentium III system, but it is likely to undercut high-street electronics stores.

Insurance discounts

Insurer Norwich Union Direct is currently giving discounts to customers who arrange their cover over the net. The company is offering a pounds 25 cash- back for anyone who obtains an internet quotation, plus a 10 per cent discount on premiums. uk/direct

Stephen Pritchard can be contacted by e-mail at

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own