Google goes for loyalty, not payments at the check-out

Google goes for loyalty, not payments at the check-out

French eftpos terminal manufacturer Ingenico has confirmed that it has been contracted by Google to provide retailer check-outs with NFC hardware capable of redeeming discount coupons downloaded over an Android phone.

Ingenico CEO Philippe Lazare told AFP news agency that the kit will be used by Google during a series of live trials at selected retailers in New York and San Francisco.

Earlier reports had assumed that the search engine giant was interested in expanding its remit to bricks and mortar payments. But Ingenico says the trials will instead focus on the willingness of consumers to redeem retailer tokens at the till.

Customers signing up for the service would tap their phone at the check-out to redeem their tokens and reduce their shopping bill. Payments will be handled in the usual fashion.

Oracle last month released research implying that the use of NFC at the check-out for multiple read and write applications to a mobile phone may be too time-consuming, negating the supposed fast-transaction benefits of contactless technology.

Separately, NFC application developer Merchant360 has secured a deal with terminal manufacturer VeriFone to run its new NFC Stack, which is capable of hosting multiple access points for third party mobile and contactless schemes on the same eftpos machine. VeriFone says the technology will enable it to equip check-outs with a one-size fits all device offering ease of integration for emerging mobile payment and loyalty schemes from innovative start-ups such as Bling Nation and MoneyCell.

With NFC standards still being defined, M360 says the Stack allows for remote updating of the device when new applications and formats are released. The company says it is in talks with other hardware manufacturers about licensing deals.

Comments: (2)

Brett King
Brett King - Moven - New York 07 May, 2011, 07:07Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Google's move toward couponing and loyalty is just a shot across the bow for banks in respect to payments. They're starting to show their intent to change the POS experience. If you think they'll stop at loyalty NFC interactions...


Ward Hagenaar
Ward Hagenaar - PaymentGenes - Amsterdam 08 May, 2011, 19:301 like 1 like

I don´t agree Brett, there is real money for Google in loyalty and couponning because they bring the customer to the point of sale and Google will be granted a nice fee for this. In payments itself the business case is harder.