There’s a showdown a-brewing between the various mobile payment providers. The likes of Square, Dwolla, PayPal and CloverPay are using mobile and tablet innovations in a way that is rapidly turning the clunky and expensive merchant providers in a tizzy. The latest innovations in credit card and mobile processing are as disruptive to the merchant services business as Skype and VOIP were to telecom. Much like kiosks are being obliterated by mobile and tablet solutions, we’re seeing a similar occurrence in the world of merchant services, including mobile payment options. What does this mean for digital out-of-home?
Retail Digital Out-of-Home
By giving digital out-of-home technologies a very large blanket, we can see how mobile payment could integrate into nearly everything relating to the industry, especially when it comes to retail deployments of digital signage. For the retail outfit, signage integrated at the point of sale could eventually mean a streamlined and human-less checkout process where RFIDs, rapidly-generated QR Codes and QVC barcodes that read and transfer sale prices where mobile phones with NFC chips and our card scanners do the work of fund transferring.
Nordstrom stores have already implemented tablet payment solutions to be deployed to even their discount stores where their “fashion consultants” allow patrons to pay for clothing without the need to visit the traditional register. This not only turns traditional merchant providers on their heads, but it also messes with traditional logistics consulting performed for retail check-out efficiency monitoring. When there is no traditional retail check-out, consultants like Paco Underhill and others will require a different model for increasing throughput in retail centers.
While the retail behemoths make up a huge portion of the gaudiness of American consumption, technologies provided by Squareup and others are taking merchant terminal capabilities to the masses of small, one-man operations on street corners–including taco trucks, lemonade stands and door-to-door sales. If out-of-home is truly as broad as we are always touting, than certainly mobile payments for any type of credit card transaction is a step in the right direction.
The battle between the various competing technologies continues as mobile wallet solutions providers work to duke-out market share in a fray that is worth billions of dollars. Consequently, some of the biggest names in technology have entered the horse race and will be competing toe-to-toe and head-to-head. Whether NFC, external card swipers or peer-to-peer transfers will dominate, at this point it’s anyone’s guess. My guess is some will slowly fade, but multiple capabilities may coexist peacefully for quite sometime (I don’t see credit cards disappearing anytime soon).
Digital out-of-home will become more enhanced, more reputable and more fundamentally necessary than it has been in the past, thanks to mobile payment.