SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) — What happens to marketing if mobile phones replace credit cards as a form of payment? It’s something marketers need to start figuring out now. Even as more and more tests roll out across the world, marketing strategy is lagging behind new technology.
In Japan,mobile payments have been in use for about four years, and about 20% of consumers are using it. But merchants have only recently tied loyalty programs to mobile payment. McDonald’s, for example, introduced a loyalty and payment program last year in Japan that lets customers choose their meals, redeem coupons and pay for purchases with their mobile phones.
Starbucks, the first national merchant to introduce mobile payments on an iPhone app, is piloting the feature in 16 stores in Seattle and Silicon Valley. Customers can use their iPhones as they’d use a standard Starbucks-issued gift card — the app lets them pay for their lattes, using a 2-D bar code, refill their account and check their balance remotely.
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