Saturday, August 14, 2010

NFC vs 2D Bar Code for Mobile Retail POS?

I know that this is not ecommerce related (at least not for the moment), but since Mobile Payments is the topic du jour, I thought I would comment on it. So, what is it going to be? NFC has been struggling for meaningful deployment for more than a few years and I think the time has passed. Merchants (that matter) have already embraced bar code technology at the POS and if they are not already 2D capabable upgrading to it probably would not be as painful as installing single purpose (credit card network controlled) NFC readers. They can then be in control of their own destiny at their POS and leverage the enhanced bar code technology for other purposes.
Why did NFC fail? When you combine the fact that most large merchants (supermarkets and big boxers) had turned the terminals to the consumer so they could swipe the card themselves combined with the card brands new rules around no signature for under $25 transactions, a lot of the motivation for NFC which was checkout speed evaporated.
The virtual Starbuck's stored value card iPhone app is the best example I have seen of such a deployment. I only wish it was in more street locations. I know it is now in all the Target based Starbucks but Target is not someplace I stop into on my way to work in the morning. However, this is an interesting point as to why the Target locations were deployed so quickly as they already had the 2D bar code technology and a simple software upgrade accomplished the task.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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