Powa bids to revolutionise commerce

Powa bids to revolutionise commerce

Powa Technologies has signed up 240 brands for the launch of a digital commerce tool it promises will transform the retail landscape "forever".

Founded by serial-entrepreneur Dan Wagner and with nearly $100 million in funding behind it, London-based Powa has long been promising to to revolutionise in-store, mobile and even television commerce.

After several delays, the firm has now finally unveiled its hybrid technology PowaTag 'concept', which chiefly comprises a mobile app which stores users' payment details.

Like Barclays Buyit, the PowaTag app will let shoppers buy products by snapping QR codes in print adverts, whether in magazines, on billboards or price tags in stores. Goods are then shipped to their homes.

The firm says that it is also tapping the audio and visual sensors in smartphones to let users buy straight from television, YouTube and radio adverts.

Meanwhile, Bluetooth Low Energy technology - recently embraced by Apple and PayPal - will be used to ping customer phones with product information and offers as they wander around stores. The BLE beacons will also let stores collect data on participating customers' shopping habits.

Says Wagner: "Retailers can no longer afford to think in terms of online verses offline - they must seriously rethink how they connect in-store and online strategies to provide the agility and innovation needed to enable customers to buy whenever and wherever they may be, when they are at that critical buying-decision moment."

Powa charges 25 pence, or 0.1% of the sale value, per transaction. So far 240 firms around the world, including Universal Music and Carrefour, have signed up. Several charities, which are being offered PowaTag for free, are also onboard.

Stephen Partridge, director, e-commerce, Universal, says: "PowaTag will transform the way fans access and purchase music and merchandise from their favourite artists, both online and in the real world. We are excited by PowaTag's instant purchase capabilities and the potential it has to open up additional revenue streams for up and coming and established artists."

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 04 March, 2014, 11:16Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Tough specific questions aside, what's even remotely revolutionary there?! Am I missing something?..

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 05 March, 2014, 16:07Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Revolutionary - hmm... not sure either Alex....   I downloaded the app, and loaded my card details, which worked, (though I  had to manually fill my address as auto fill failed) 8/10 for Registration then....

Big But..... BUT will Joe Public trust Powa enough to load their card details? not so sure - I personally only loaded my Credit card as dont trust Debit card data to third party tech companies. (this will increase cost of sale to POWA merchants of course)

I then went off to try to find a web merchant or one of the 240 brands so i could shop... and  - there arent any............  maybe thats the revolutionary approach - launch the consumer product before there are merchants open for business?  pretty disappointing - waste of a press release and an opportunity in my view... POWA mention giving Charities accounts - A charity account setup for testing somewhere on the web would be nice!

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 07 March, 2014, 18:38Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

By making it possible to measure the effectiveness of print and TV ads, Powa solves a long standing pain faced by marketers. By facilitating immediate purchase from ads in non-digital media, Powa delivers a major gain. If it supported 1-Click bill pay, I'd give it the perfect '10' rating.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 07 March, 2014, 19:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes They'd measure Powa effectiveness, not ad's.