Walgreens Integrates Digital Coupon Support With Apple Pay

What Happened
Walgreens is making it much easier for shoppers to use digital coupons with Apple Pay. The Deerfield, Illinois-based drugstore chain was one of the first retailers to accept loyalty cards via Apple Pay and has allowed members of its Balance Rewards loyalty program to clip digital coupons from various sources for redemption in stores. Now with a deeper Apple Pay integration, Balance Rewards members will be alerted when they shop online of available digital coupons, which they can clip with one tap and redeem when they check out via Apple Pay in the Walgreens app, on its website, or in stores. The company reported that to date over 135 million digital coupons have been clipped through its app and website.

What Retailers Need To Do
Earlier this month, Walgreens introduced two new APIs, one of which enables third-party apps to access their digital coupons, signaling its intention to expand its support for digital coupons. Now with this Apple Pay integration, the drugstore chain is making coupons a lot more user-friendly to its loyalty program members. The added perks will likely help boost signups and activities for the Balance Rewards program, which can help Walgreens lock in shopper loyalty regardless of where they choose to make the purchase. Other retailers need to take a cue and start making their loyalty programs more accessible across platforms.

For more information on how retailers can effectively reach connected consumers by taking an omnichannel approach, check out the Boundless Retail section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: BusinessWire

Visa Integrates With Super Bowl App For Mobile Payments In Stadium

What Happened
Visa announced today that its mobile payment service Visa Checkout will be integrated into the official Super Bowl 50 app to allow attendees at Levi’s Stadium to order and pay for drinks without leaving their seats. As a long-time sponsor of the NFL, Visa has also installed over 700 point-of-sale terminals in the stadium to let fans purchase NFL merchandise by simply tapping their phones.

What Brands Need To Do
Through this Visa Checkout integration, the NFL is bringing a digitally enhanced experience to its games. Together, mobile payments and other mobile and location-based tools can open up new opportunities for event organizers and brand sponsors to effectively connect with the audience via their smartphones during live events.


Source: AdAge

Venmo To Enter Mobile Commerce With In-App Payments Solution

What Happened
Beloved peer-to-peer digital payment app Venmo is preparing to launch a new “Pay with Venmo” service that will let users pay for mobile purchases. Similar to its parent company’s “Pay with Paypal” button frequently featured on ecommerce sites, the new feature is aimed at facilitating shopping and payments in mobile apps. Instead of putting in their credit card information, users will be able to simply log in and pay with their Venmo account. The first two apps getting this Venmo integration are on-demand sports tickets delivery app Gametime and food delivery app Munchery.

What Brands Need To Do
For brands, especially brands that use branded apps as a sales channel, this new mobile payment solution can help remove friction and encourage purchases. Venmo has a fast-growing user base and enjoys well-documented popularity among Millennials. Therefore, brands targeting Millennial consumers on mobile should consider giving this new service a try.


Source: Quartz


Walmart Enters Mobile Payments With Walmart Pay App

What Happened
On Thursday Walmart launched its Walmart Pay app for both iOS and Android, officially throwing its hat into the ring of mobile payments populated by tech companies and big banks. The app is compatible with most major credit and debit cards, and is reportedly open to future integration of other mobile wallets. Previously, the national big-box retailer had been one of the most notable hold-outs of Apple Pay due to its allegiance to MCX’s still-in-testing CurrentC.

What Brands Need To Do
By launching its own mobile payment system, Walmart stands to gain great data on shopper behaviors and purchasing patterns, which it can then use to retarget or personalize the shopping experience for its customers. Moreover, the retailer can also leverage the platform to run promotions and offer added value to its customers, similar to what they have done in China in conjunction with Alipay.

With more and more consumers starting to incorporate mobile devices into the shopping experience, brands and retailers need to start developing a digital payment strategy and incorporate existing reward and loyalty programs into point of sale systems.

Source: CNET

Why Banks Are Launching Their Own Payment Apps

What Happened
The next big competitor for Apple Pay may not be Android Pay or Samsung Pay after all. Instead, It could be one of the homegrown mobile payment solutions some banks are developing. Last week, Capital One added a new mobile payment feature to its Android app, becoming the first U.S. bank to release tap-to-pay functionality in mobile app. Likewise, earlier today Chase introduced its digital wallet service named Chase Pay, which allows users to pay with a QR code within the Chase Pay app. Chase partnered with MCX, the consortium of retailers led by Walmart, to get Chase Pay accepted in MCX’s member stores, where the Chase customers will have to use Chase Pay inside the CurrentC app instead. Chase Pay is said to be aiming for a mid-2016 launch.

Market Impact
Banks have long enjoyed a stranglehold on payment solutions, either with cash or cards. They faced some challenges from digital payment solutions such as PayPal, but have remained largely unfazed in monopolizing the way people make purchases in the real world. But the recent rise of mobile payment, made viable by the proliferation of smartphones and kickstarted by the introduction of Apple Pay last year, has threatened to undercut banks’ market dominance in consumer payments. Therefore, it’s no surprise that some banks are now scrambling to come up with their own mobile payment solutions, despite their low profit margins. However, if Chase Pay’s confusing UX design, complicated by its affiliation with MCX, is any indication, the banks still have a long way to go before their products can truly compete with the likes of Apple Pay.


Source: Re/Code


ATMs Adapt To The Mobile Era

Read original story on: Quartz

As mobile payment continues to gain momentum and impact card-based payment methods, innovation and adaptation are in store for the ATMs:

  • In the UK, people can top up their phone balance or contribute charity via cash points.
  • In Luxemburg, Diebold has installed a machine that delivers cash by reading a QR code rather than a card.
  • Some ATMs in Latin American boast roughly 50 to 75 features, which allow users to pay phone and electricity bills, or even order pay-per-view soccer matches.


Partner Spotlight: LevelUp

It’s always a good sign when a startup’s technology keeps popping up in your favorite places.  We’ve been tracking mobile payments company LevelUp since 2011, but recently it’s become part of our everyday lives as the platform has been adopted by our go-to coffee and salad spots Gregory’s and Fresh & Co.

LevelUp’s mobile application leverages QR technology to enable local businesses to process mobile transactions via smartphones.  Stores place a small box shaped LevelUp scanner at the counter, and customers scan a QR code within their app to process their payment.  LevelUp also allows businesses to activate loyalty programs with the platform to reward consumers for repeat visits, first time visits, or spending significant time in a location.

For now the technology is deployed in a number of major cities including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco and Seattle. Based on feedback from clients in those cities, LevelUp is seeing increasing demand for white label integration into brands’ existing apps.  Data indicates the white label solutions also are most effective for engagement— businesses using LevelUp’s app see 11-14% of users using the platform for payments, while those integrating it into their own apps typically see 24% adoption.

Results like that are competitive to forward-thinking brands like Starbucks, and make LevelUp a great potential solution for any brick and mortar location looking for a plug-and-play payment and loyalty solution.  LevelUp is also finding great success with a “Re-Engagement” targeting feature, which allows businesses to lure customers with offers if they haven’t made a payment at a location for a certain amount of time.

The company offers a pay-for-performance model for campaigns reaching out to consumers– typically businesses pay a 25% fee based on the redemption of offers (if a consumer redeems a $10 offer, LevelUp would get paid $2.50). For now Food Services drives most of its businesses, but expect to see Retail follow suit as the company continues to build traction.


PayPal Makes the Smartwatch Smarter

As if Starbucks needed to make it easier to part with $6 for a latte, the coffee giant has volunteered its San Jose location, on PayPal’s campus, to become a pilot tester for PayPal’s new wireless payment system built for the Samsung Galaxy Gear line.  The process sounds simple – the user’s name and photo pop up on the computer at the register, a push notification is sent to the watch when the sale is rung up, and the user confirms payment with a tap.  Bluetooth LE technology is already making our lives easier and more exciting, and this payment system is a realistic vision of a potentially very near future.

Coin Consolidates Cards For Flexible Payments

Coin may stand a chance to revolutionize the payments space by allowing you to consolidate your bank and loyalty cards onto a single platform. The Kickstarter project allows you to tie all of your cards to a single one via bluetooth and then actively manage which one you use through an app. Unlike other payment startups, Coin is not a disruptive technology, but an enabler; one that lets you pay chiefly the same way you always did but with more flexibility. While they may run into some friction with banks and merchants who have not sanctioned this activity, the utility Coin provides is worht of attention.

Mobile Payments on the Rise at Starbucks

Mobile payments are coming in a big way. Financial results released last week by Starbucks show that more than 10% of sales were made by mobile phone last quarter, reflecting the coffee giant’s early adoption of Apple’s Passbook technology.  The mobile payments trend trades customer data for an improved customer experience with special deals and faster service.  Food sales and overall profits are up significantly as well, in a corresponding move, giving Starbucks no reason to slow their adoption of forward-thinking technologies. Next on chief digital officer Adam Brotman’s list: the wireless charging mat.