Monthly Archives: April 2011

MasterCard Explores NFC Payment Solutions

There’s been a lot of discussion around cashless purchasing lately, but MasterCard has been exploring payment systems since 2001. They started off by offering programs such as PayPass enabled credit cards, PayPass key fobs and stickers, which allowed consumers to tap to pay rather than swipe a card. Now, Mastercard is exploring near field communication (NFC) technology to make the next big wave in payment options happen.

Now, MasterCard has partnered with Gemalto, a digital security company, to further investigate NFC and its capabilities. There are also rumors about MasterCard joining forces with Google and to build a Google-branded mobile payment system through their Android operating system, which already supports NFC. In addition, MasterCard is also exploring microSD solutions, such as the trials done by Bank of America, but the drawback would be that they are costly and some phones don’t have slots for these cards. Even if they do, the consumer may not be informed on how to use them.

While MasterCard is still exploring these options, it’s a bit too early to tell what the solution will be. It is estimated that we will know a lot more by the end of 2012, but I for one am hoping for an Android-based solution!

Mobile Commerce on the Rise

Mobility was once a term we used to discuss warehouse and fleet management, but now, it’s so much more. Mobility at the consumer level is becoming extremely prevalent—from smartphones, to QR codes, to mobile commerce, consumers are doing more on the go, and brands are doing everything possible to make their mobile experience a good one.

Last July, eBay bought out RedLaser, a barcode scanning app, to better integrate with their mobile app. Now, mobile commerce is at the forefront of every retailers mind, and for good reason. The number of US consumers that have purchased goods or services via their mobile phone has risen 23% from July 2010 to year end according to an Oracle/ATG Mobile Trends survey. 40% of mobile shoppers are between 18-34, but the growth of consumers between 34-54 that participate in mobile commerce has increased nearly tripled as of December 2010. These statistics are similar to those found in a previous study on QR code usage and adoption.

Even when shopping at a brick and mortar store, consumers are still on their phones, researching products and seeing where they can get the best price. Because of this, marketers are focusing on optimizing the consumer’s mobile experience, as tolerance for glitches are very low.

Have you used your mobile phone to purchase something online, or do you simply use it for price comparison, or maybe you don’t use it for commerce purposes at all. Let us know by commenting here, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Honeywell MS7580 Genesis

As more and more marketers continue to pursue mobile couponing, or 1D barcodes that appear on a shoppers cell phone, in addition to QR codes, there has been an increased need from retailers for a scanner that has the capability to scan 1D barcodes (both on and off screen, PDF barcodes and 2D barcodes.

I introduce the Honeywell MS7580 Genesis, a presentation area imaging scanner designed to decode 1D, PDF and 2D barcodes. In addition, the MS7580 features:

  • Activation button support for menu-scanning and other targeted scanning applications
  • Four dedicated memory banks
  • Automatic cable detection and configuration
  • Shielded LEDs
  • Ability to capture seven barcodes in one flash and output data in any predetermined order

These features allow the Honeywell MS7580 Genesisb to excel at scanning coupons and mobile tickets directly from the screen of virtually any mobile device. But don’t just take my word for it, see it in action:

For more information on Honeywell and their products, learn more here.

RFID in your 3D

The latest craze in movies is 3-D, and while 3-D movies do create amazing effects, the 3D glasses produce a lot of waste. Now, Dolby Laboratories and Xpand3D are working on an RFID solution that would track 3D glasses as they are used, sanitized and reused. The reusable glasses will cut down on waste and also improve the 3-D effect for viewers.

By using RFID technology, the movement of the glasses from theater to sterilization area and back to theater will be tracked at all times, in addition to how many times each pair of glasses is used. Although the system has not yet hit theaters, Dolby is embedding a passive EPC Gen 2 RFID tag in the frame of each pair and has started to test the technology on their own.

Learn more about what Dolby Laboratories and Xpand3D are doing with 3D glasses and RFID here.

Cashless Purchasing: QR Codes vs. NFC

Secure Vault Payments (SVP), an online payment company that ensures secure transactions, is said to announce a mobile application for the U.S. market within the next month. The app, which will work with Apple, Android and Blackberry smart-phones, will use QR codes to allow users to pay from their checking accounds using SVP. Once the QR code for SVP has been scanned by the mobile device, an authentication page will appear where users can enter their online banking information and authorize transactions as they go.

While we’ve also discussed NFC payments, barcode scanning payments are becoming popular since many mobie device currently on the market don’t contain NFC chips. When Starbucks released their QR-code based mobile payment app, consumers flocked to using it… the app already has over 3 million transactions since its launch only a few monthe ago. In addition to not many phones being equipped with NFC chips, QR codes seem to be more accepted by merchants, as they are easy to print and display, standardized and affordable.

Perhaps NFC is just a bit ahead of its time, but for now, cashless payment systems seem to be preferring QR codes. Do you think QR codes will replace NFC systems for cashless purchasing? Let us know by commenting here or on our facebook or twitter pages.

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