Friday, April 1, 2011

Google: NFC will Bridge Gap Between Online and Offline Shopping

NFC Phones to bring the ease of web shopping to the high street
By Mary Bransco -

If you thought the NFC chips that Google has started putting into Nexus phones are just there to turn your Android phone into a Google credit card, think again; Google's plans for real-world shopping are much more ambitious than that, according to Google's Osama Bedier, vice president of platforms for mobile and new ventures.
It's not just about avoiding the ads for things we already own that 75% of us see online, although Bedier would clearly like to make that more efficient. And when he says that 20% of people are more likely to buy something that a friend or family member has recommended it sounds like the FTC's privacy penalties for Buzz haven't discouraged Google from considering the opportunities in social networking.
What Bedier wants to do is use the smartphone - which he calls "the iconic device of this decade" - to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping.
"We're about to see some major changes. It has the promise to bring best of both worlds. Online you get unlimited inventory and the best prices; offline you get to touch and feel the product and you get to take it home with you immediately."
Some UK stores are already combining the two, he points out, "Dominoes in the UK already gets a third of their delivery orders online. Tesco has the fifth most downloaded app on iTunes that allows you to scan grocery items in the store and put then on your online grocery cart for online checkout."
The Google vision
Bedier's vision of the future of commerce "begins to look like shopping did fifty years ago, when everyone shopped at the local store". But instead of the shopkeeper knowing you because you've shopped there for years, remembering your favourites and offering you credit if you've left your wallet at home, Bedier says technology can give shopping the personal and convenient touch.
"I should be able to walk in the store and that store greets me. I decide to share my identity, I decide to share my location and when I walk in the store it greets me by name, it tells me the cheese I like is available. The fridge may have already looked at what I'm out of and created a shopping list - and it also included ingredients from recipes I liked on Epicurious.
"And that shopping list turns into an in-store map where I navigate the most efficient way. If I get to an item that's out, I scan the barcode and it tells me where else I can buy it or have it delivered to my house. And when I go to check out I walk with that shopping cart directly out of the door. NFC stickers on all the items can actually tell whether the item is paid for or not and the sensor lets it go through."
Already possible
All the technology is there today, Bedier claims - the problem is making it interoperable.
"First, payments need to go digital." Today shops make the choice of what payment methods to accept based on things like how much it costs them to process the payments; he wants to see the choice go to the customer.
"All my cards - whether they're credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, private label cards - they need to move into the platform, they all need to be digital and they need to be available to me at any store I want to use them. I need to be able to use my choice of cards, not what the merchant wants to accept."
And like web sites, stores should tell you what's in stock (think of a Google search that covers physical shops): "Consumers should be able to find an item in real time at any store online or off and to be able to pick it up and buy it right there. Inventory needs to live in the cloud. A merchant used to sell in a physical store and the web came along and they made a copy of that storefront. Now mobile is coming along and that model wont scale any more. Inventory needs to move and live in the cloud."
None of that is going to work if you have to create an account to tell every shop you go into who you are. "Identity needs to be interoperable," says Bedier. "The whole idea of going to store by store by store and signing up for gift cards and credit cards, all this signing up - no. Identity needs to work seamlessly across merchants across devices, across use cases."
It's a grand vision that needs shops and stores to reveal a lot more information - like inventory levels - than they usually make public; and we're not sure how well banks will take to making all your different cards work on the same payment system or how much we'd like shops that remember us a la Minority Report.

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Google and Intel Become Principal Members of NFC Forum, QR Codes Dead?

Near Field Communication Forum Announces 32 New Members

CSR, Google, and Intel Become Principal Members
WAKEFIELD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, today announced that Google, Inc. is joining the organization as a Principal member. CSR and Intel, formerly Associate Members, have raised their membership status to the Principal level. Since its founding in 2004, the NFC Forum has drawn market-leading organizations from around the world to its membership roster as momentum builds for the adoption and implementation of Near Field Communication technology.
“The NFC Forum thrives on the active participation of global industry leaders and innovators such as CSR, Google, and Intel”
Principal membership is the second-highest level of membership in the NFC Forum, with each Principal member entitled to appoint a voting representative to each of the Technical, Marketing, and Compliance Committees and Working Groups. Principal members may designate individuals to run for positions leading Committees or Working Groups, and they may propose initiatives and contribute to the development of Forum deliverables. As Principal members, organizations may also participate in the NFC Forum testing and certification program using their own in-house test labs.
The NFC Forum has also welcomed 31 new Associate, Implementer, and Non-Profit members from across the NFC ecosystem. New Associate members include: A&D Company, Limited; AQ Corporation; China Telecommunication Technology Labs; Communications Global Certification Inc.; Daimler AG; FIME; Hitachi, Ltd.; ICT Korea, Inc.; Kovio, Inc.; KTC (Korea Testing Certification); National IT Industry Promotion Agency RFID/USN Center; Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG; SK C&C USA; SOLIATIS; Sporton International, Inc.; TA Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.; TTA; and VI Service Network Co., Ltd. Joining recently as Implementer members were: 3A Logics Co., Ltd.; DeviceFidelity, Inc.; HOTech; i-Free; MagTek, Inc.; MStar Semiconductor, Inc.; MtekVision Co., Ltd.; Poken S.A.; Sysnet Group; TUOMI IT S.A.; Via Licensing Corporation; and Waldemar Winckel GmbH & Co. KG. LOGyCA joined as a Non-Profit member.
"The NFC Forum thrives on the active participation of global industry leaders and innovators such as CSR, Google, and Intel," said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. "Their energy, ideas, and influence will greatly enhance the work of the Forum, as will the support of our new Associate, Implementer, and Non-Profit members from around the world."
About Near Field Communication Technology
NFC technology makes life easier and more convenient for consumers around the world by making it simpler to make transactions, exchange digital content, and connect electronic devices with a touch.
A standards-based connectivity technology, NFC harmonizes today's diverse contactless technologies, enabling current and future solutions in areas such as access control, consumer electronics, healthcare, information collection and exchange, loyalty and coupons, payments, and transport.
NFC technology is supported by the world’s leading communication device manufacturers, semiconductor producers, network operators, IT and services companies, and financial services organizations. NFC is compatible with hundreds of millions of contactless cards and readers already deployed worldwide.
About the NFC Forum
The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum’s 135 global member companies currently are developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability.
The NFC Forum’s Sponsor members, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: Broadcom Corporation, INSIDE Secure, MasterCard Worldwide, Microsoft Corp., NEC, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Visa Inc.


NFC Forum Public Relations
Ruth Cassidy, +1 617-957-8494

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Mocapay Named Best in Category Winner in Fifth Annual Paybefore Awards

2011 Prepaid Expo USA
http://www.mocapay.comDENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Paybefore has announced that Mocapay, a mobile consumer engagement platform, was selected as the Best in Category winner for the Business-to-Consumer or -Employee category. The award recognizes Mocapay’s partnership with Wow Bao, a restaurant concept from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. Paybefore Awards, now in its fifth year, is the most prestigious recognition of excellence in the worldwide prepaid and stored value card industry. Mocapay received the honor during the Paybefore Awards ceremony at Prepaid Expo USA in Orlando, Florida.
“The Paybefore Awards ceremony is the culmination of a long nomination and review process, where the judges painstakingly compare the merits of many fantastic programs. We are thrilled to honor Mocapay with the Best in Category distinction, which is the highest honor we bestow”
“We are thrilled to be selected a Best in Category winner,” said Doug Dwyre, president, Mocapay. “Mocapay continues to leverage its secure mobile platform and provide merchants a new channel to engage with customers in and out of stores.”
Mocapay was selected by a panel of five industry experts who served as judges for this year’s competition, which—once again—included a record number of entries from around the world.
“Paybefore Awards were created to celebrate the innovators in our industry who are using prepaid to transform payments with ever-more efficient and accessible products,” said Loraine DeBonis, Paybefore editor-in-chief and chair of the judging panel.
“The Paybefore Awards ceremony is the culmination of a long nomination and review process, where the judges painstakingly compare the merits of many fantastic programs. We are thrilled to honor Mocapay with the Best in Category distinction, which is the highest honor we bestow,” she continued.
Wow Bao partnered with Mocapay in 2010 to implement a mobile marketing solution within its Chicago-based restaurants. Using Mocapay's mobile platform, Wow Bao has been successful at offering real-time mobile comp cards in promotional and customer service related situations.
About Mocapay
Mocapay is a mobile platform for innovative merchants that offers an integrated marketing and sales solution to enhance the lifetime value of a customer. The platform addresses merchants' need for a new channel that will broaden their reach to customers anytime, not just at the point of sale, encourage purchases and build a stronger brand affinity. Based in Denver, Mocapay is a privately held, venture funded company founded in 2006. For more information, visit
About Paybefore
Paybefore is the leading information provider to prepaid and stored value industry professionals, offering the latest news, commentary and analysis. Paybefore’s family of industry publications include:™, a searchable online news and information portal; Paybefore News™, daily electronic news briefs; Paybefore News International™, a weekly compilation of prepaid news and events from outside the United States; Paybefore Update™, a downloadable e-newsletter delivered 20 times a year; Paybefore Legal™, a downloadable e-newsletter covering the legislative, regulatory and judicial developments in prepaid, as well as feature articles by leading attorneys in the field; Paybefore Magazine™, a biannual print publication featuring in-depth articles; and the only industry directory, Paybefore Buyer’s Guide™, available online and in print. Visit us at


104 West Partners
Johanna Erickson, 720-407-6077
Johanna . Erickson@104west .com

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