Is this the year you'll start using your cellphone to pay for everything?
Well, probably not everything. But technology tastemakers are hinting that 2013 could be the year of the mobile wallet, as consumers get more comfortable and confident using their smartphones to make on-the-go purchases.
On The Verge
While people have used their smartphones to shop online for several years, “tap and pay” transactions are just now catching on. Mobile payments hit $172 billion in 2012 globally, a 62 percent increase over the prior year.
“Everyone is waiting for the inflection point,” says Doug Busk, director of Mobile Technologies and Strategies for
The point of sale is next, which is good news for merchants, consumers and, according to Busk,
Cashless = Priceless
Smartphone users can download the Isis Mobile Wallet app and securely add debit, credit and loyalty cards, coupons, tickets and more, which they can use to pay for purchases at participating stores — and vending machines.
In Austin, Texas,
A My Coke Rewards membership with 30 points comes preloaded in the Isis Mobile Wallet. Consumers can enjoy their first beverage — and every 10th drink after that — for free, while racking up points that can eventually be redeemed online for merchandise and special offers.
“We’re going beyond payment into loyalty,” explains Busk, who showcased the Isis-enabled vending machines during an AT&T developer conference this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “This technology removes the friction of having to open a bottle of Coke, look under the cap to find a code, sign up for My Coke Rewards and log points online. And any time you remove friction, you see increases in frequency.”
Dan Avenick, director Foodservice and On-Premise Strategy and Development,
Putting Muscle into Mobile
Isis is one of several mobile commerce technologies
“This is a unique opportunity for us to take two steps at once,” Avenick says. “We’re aggressively deploying flexible payment devices across our U.S. vending fleet to accept credit and debit cards and put us in the lead by accepting a number of mobile payment solutions.”
"We’re serious about mobile innovation,” says Tom Daly, Coke’s group director, Global Connections. "Mobile is the closest you can get to the consumer, so that four-inch-by-two-inch screen is critically important for us. We want to use a phone in one hand to put a Coke in the other.”