For mobile commerce technologies to really hit the masses, they need to be deployed where the masses are.
For example, beacons in a store, or even 100 stores, have little chance of touching most mobile consumers.
In reality, they will touch only a percentage of the people who frequent a particular store, have a certain app and agree to location-based, beacon-triggered messaging.
Mobile payments are pretty much in the same boat.
For Apple Pay, a person needs an iPhone 6, a place to use it and the desire to do so.
For payments with an Android phone, there are a number of options and next month some Samsung phones reportedly will come with mobile payment capability built in. That payment technology is likely to be usable in a large percentage of point of sales locations.
But like Apple Pay, the consumer would need a particular phone.
But then there are the places that thousands and even millions of people pass by or through over a period of time.
Starbucks sees about 7 million or so mobile transactions a week, which is not so small.
And now the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in California is adding beacons to Union Station in Los Angeles to send mobile alerts to commuters to help them along their way.
Ditto at the Los Angeles Zoo and SeaWorld in Orlando, giving visitors mobile guided tours with location information triggered by beacons.
Sometime this year, the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) is expected to roll out its own mobile payment system.
Members of the exchange where the new mobile payments can be made include Walmart, Best Buy, Giant Eagle, Kohl’s, Sears, Rite Aid, Old Navy, Sam’s Club, Wendy’s, Gap, CVS, Lowe’s, Publix, Sunoco, Bed Bath & Beyond and Olive Garden. And that’s not the entire list.
Over the last several years, mobile implementations like payments and more recently beacons have been popping up in numerous places by a multitude of companies.
Experimentation and trials in payments and beacons have been under way for some time and much has been learned by those on the leading edge as a result of those trials.
For some, it’s now implementation time, at scale.
Mobile payments and beacon-enabled proximity marketing are getting ready for prime time.