Innovative Retail Technologies

MAR-APR 2017

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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POS system of the user's presence. At the time of checkout, the store posts the pur- chase to the consumer's mobile payment account, which is also visible on the POS system at the checkout counter. Another alternative is to allow consumers to scan the item and pay on their own, without the involvement of ca- shiers. This particular method allows for actual payment freedom, as it requires no interaction with any associate from the merchant's end. Such payments are usu- ally authorized on the phone over a BLE connection with a POS beacon anywhere in the store. The POS beacon then con- nects to a payment network to process the payment. Authorization for such transactions may vary between provid- ing a PIN approval to randomly checking customers (either in person or digitally) when they are leaving the store. NFC — In order to make a payment via NFC, the customer first informs the store cashier about wanting to make an NFC payment and chooses a card from his mobile wallet. He then taps the phone on the store's NFC payment terminal. All NFC payments require the merchant to have a contactless payment terminal in place. Who's Taking Advantage Of This? Leading beauty brand, Sephora, recently piloted beacons together with mobile wallets. The brand used their Beauty Insider program to alert women about the products in their shopping basket on their mobile wallets. Beacons also alerted them to get a mini-makeover near the store's Beauty Studio and reminded shoppers to use their Beauty Insider card to obtain reward points, which ultimately led to increased customer loyalty. Capturing The Mobile Wallet User While mobile wallets are still relatively new in the U.S., consumers in China have been using these for everyday transac- tions through social platforms like Alipay and WeChat for many years now. As these Chinese citizens go on holiday to Europe and the U.S. to shop for luxury goods, China's Alipay is expanding its mo- bile payment app service into the United States through partnerships with payment processors First Data and Verifone, the latest deals in a global strategy to reach Chinese consumers traveling abroad. Alipay, which counts 450 million active users in China, is the top mobile pay- ments player there. It has begun actively expanding outside China over the past year via partnerships in Asia and Europe. In Britain, for example, luxury department stores Harrods and Selfridges and retailers Holland & Barrett and the Body Shop now accept Alipay. Instead of seeking to go head to head with major payments players outside its home market, Alipay targets the fast- growing Chinese tourism market, which numbered 117 million travelers in 2014, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, and is projected to double by 2020. Through the Verifone deal announced last fall, Alipay is targeting top-tier mer- chants such as Neiman Marcus and Nord- strom, across retail, luxury goods, health supplement, and department stores. The reality is that these platforms, along with the more popular U.S.-based solutions like Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest, are all gearing up to leverage their massive user bases to both drive traf- fic to merchants and to capture a piece of the transaction pie as well. The question is: Are you ready to capitalize on it? 33 Mar-Apr 2017 While mobile wallets are still relatively new in the U.S., consumers in China have been using these for everyday transactions through social platforms like Alipay and WeChat for many years now.

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