Mobile payments technology has been slow to reach mainstream acceptance, partially because of the ubiquity of credit card readers and the sluggishness of the industry to respond to change. A new startup, Loop, believes it has solved a major part of the problem by developing a dongle for smartphones that will facilitate payments via mobile and which is compatible with about 90% of existing credit card swiping systems. The dongle works by creating a changing magnetic field to mock the magnetic information received by the read head of a card swiper. The user experience is smoother than the one offered by other mobile payments solutions as well, allowing users to simply swipe their cards to add them to their virtual wallet, as long as the names on the cards match the name on the user’s verified Loop account. Improving ease of use for both users and vendors is critical to bringing mobile payments to the mainstream, and Loop’s first steps towards this end could be the initial push needed to get there.
Revel, the iPad-based point-of-sale marketer, completed its largest single deployment to date by outfitting the entire Alabama State University stadium with POS equipment. All 30 concession stands feature iPads, and sales can be tracked in real time by managers. A big benefit of installing stadium-specific pieces is that they don’t require wifi to function; this has already proven worthwhile as Revel-based equipment continued to function and make sales during a power outage. What’s more, the company claims that its technology is about 14% faster than other POS devices, increasing the capacity for moving customers more quickly. Using iPads for sales is a concept that’s spread quickly, and companies like Revel are looking to cash in on this upswing, complete with branding and advertising opportunities built in.