Touch-less payment technology has been the Holy Grail of improved checkouts for a number of years according to Richard McLaughlin, the Senior Vice President of global products at MasterCard. He explains, “We’ve been talking about the smartphone being a loyalty and couponing communication device for probably 10 years. It’s now ready to be a reality.” With over 43% of the population now carrying smartphones, retailers are moving quickly to capitalize on digital spending (June 2011).
As easy as tapping a phone to a scanner, mobile payment makes for a seamless checkout, allowing merchants to move more quickly on to the next shopper. A purchase on a mobile wallet takes only six seconds, two-thirds faster than credit cards, according to Bank of Montreal and MasterCard who launched their touch-less PayPass sticker this past year.
Starbucks was one of the first brands to roll out their mobile payment program across Canada after launching it in the US about a year prior. Using the My Starbucks App, coffee lovers simply scan their screen to pay via a mobile barcode. Adam Brotman, Senior Vice President of Digital Ventures for Starbucks notes the ripple effect of such easy spending: “You might be willing to pick up a CD or something else at the counter because it’s so easy.”
Grocery giant, Metro Inc. made an announcement in December that they would be rolling out Visa payWave terminals in 600 stores across Canada. “Visa payWave makes the shopping experience quicker and easier, while paving the way for upcoming innovations like mobile payments,” added Mike Bradley, Head of Products for Visa Canada.