[Dave Birch] Ah, mobile payments. What could be simpler than a system like Feed Tribes? Consumers sign up through the company’s website, establishing an account that’s linked to bank account. When customers are ready to pay at a participating retailer, they punch a PIN number into a text message and send it to the Feed Tribes SMS short code. They get back a code that’s good for 15 minutes. Then the customer gives that code to the cashier, who enters it into a machine at the POS. This sounds (to me) remarkably similar to all the other pay-by-text services that didn’t work in Europe a decade ago. I’m sure that Feed Tribes really believe that their payment method is not only convenient for consumers, but also allows merchants to have a closer marketing relationship with their customers. But it isn’t convenient, and there are better ways to build a relationship with customers.
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Look at what our good friends at Eagle Eye are doing with ITV in the UK. Here’s how it works:
- Consumer views a commercial on ITV that contains a promotional offer.
- Consumer texts in to advertised number to receive a promotional coupon.
- Consumer receives an SMS mobile coupon from the ITV/EES system that contains a message and an 8 digit unique code.
- Consumer takes mobile phone into retailer and makes purchase.
- When prompted, consumer types 8 digit code into EPOS or chip and pin terminal to redeem offer.
- Promotional data is provided instantly to brands/retailers for tracking/CRM.
Isn’t this a more worthwhile attempt to harness SMS at retail?
My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public. [posted with ecto]