Everything is going mobile, and there is practically an app for anything you can think of as an iPhone user. But move over, iPhone — it seems as if Android is teaming up with Google, MasterCard and Citibank to add a mobile payment system to Android phones. The hope is to turn the Android phone into an electronic wallet.
Wave and Pay
People are rarely seen without their cell phones, so it makes sense that apps, such as the new Google one, would turn the phone into a form of payment. So Android phones that have the app are waved over a reader that would be installed at the checkout of the stores and retail locations. Payment is approved or denied, just as if consumers had whipped out and paid with a credit card.
What it Means for Retailers
As part of the wave of social commerce, waving Android phones over a store’s card reader would feed a plethora of information to the retailer. In short, Google will feed the retailers data about users that will allow the retailers to refine their marketing tactics.
For example, a retailer may send more targeted ads or special savings coupons to consumers that have purchased a particular product before. Geo-targeting capabilities, where the consumer’s location is picked up by the cell phone, may also allow the retailers to pick up on the location of consumers that are near their stores. The retailers can then send ads or coupons to the user’s Google phone in an attempt to lure him into the store. After all, consumers are more likely to check out a store if they have a coupon and just happen to be nearby.
For now, the Android app is only available to Citigroup cardholders. The app is still in its infancy. Where it will go from here and how popular a shopping app it becomes still remain to be seen.