ATMs Adapt To The Mobile Era

Read original story on: Quartz

As mobile payment continues to gain momentum and impact card-based payment methods, innovation and adaptation are in store for the ATMs:

  • In the UK, people can top up their phone balance or contribute charity via cash points.
  • In Luxemburg, Diebold has installed a machine that delivers cash by reading a QR code rather than a card.
  • Some ATMs in Latin American boast roughly 50 to 75 features, which allow users to pay phone and electricity bills, or even order pay-per-view soccer matches.


Partner Spotlight: LevelUp

It’s always a good sign when a startup’s technology keeps popping up in your favorite places.  We’ve been tracking mobile payments company LevelUp since 2011, but recently it’s become part of our everyday lives as the platform has been adopted by our go-to coffee and salad spots Gregory’s and Fresh & Co.

LevelUp’s mobile application leverages QR technology to enable local businesses to process mobile transactions via smartphones.  Stores place a small box shaped LevelUp scanner at the counter, and customers scan a QR code within their app to process their payment.  LevelUp also allows businesses to activate loyalty programs with the platform to reward consumers for repeat visits, first time visits, or spending significant time in a location.

For now the technology is deployed in a number of major cities including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco and Seattle. Based on feedback from clients in those cities, LevelUp is seeing increasing demand for white label integration into brands’ existing apps.  Data indicates the white label solutions also are most effective for engagement— businesses using LevelUp’s app see 11-14% of users using the platform for payments, while those integrating it into their own apps typically see 24% adoption.

Results like that are competitive to forward-thinking brands like Starbucks, and make LevelUp a great potential solution for any brick and mortar location looking for a plug-and-play payment and loyalty solution.  LevelUp is also finding great success with a “Re-Engagement” targeting feature, which allows businesses to lure customers with offers if they haven’t made a payment at a location for a certain amount of time.

The company offers a pay-for-performance model for campaigns reaching out to consumers– typically businesses pay a 25% fee based on the redemption of offers (if a consumer redeems a $10 offer, LevelUp would get paid $2.50). For now Food Services drives most of its businesses, but expect to see Retail follow suit as the company continues to build traction.


Microsoft Phases Out “Tag” Barcode Technology

Microsoft has chosen to phase out it’s Tag barcode technology, essentially a more sophisticated QR offering that allows for more data stored in a smaller space. The product that marries the physical and digital has some utility, but the lack of consumer adoption has made it less impactful. In fact, eMarketer reports that approximately 1/4 of smartphone users have ever scanned a QR code and those that do with regularity has to be far less. While NFC looks to supplant QR, it may be running into the same roadblocks.

Walmart Pilots QR-based eCommerce in Toronto Bus Shelters

Drawing comparison’s to Tesco’s pilot program in the Seoul subway system, Walmart has launched 50 bus shelter ads in Toronto that are meant to drive eCommerce sales.

The ads are laid out like a store shelf with featured P&G products. Users can scan the QR codes for the products to add them to their mobile device basket, and then check out right on their phones. The items are then delivered to the user at home. A Walmart official is quoted as saying “This campaign allows us to help Torontonians shop for essentials on the go, anywhere, at any time.”