ADOTAS — Numerous U.S. media outlets have picked up on reports out of Italy indicating that Amazon has acquired mobile payments startup GoPago. At this writing, no official announcement has come out of Seattle.
Regardless, the latest move by Jeff Bezos & Company has received a thumbs-up from Alex Campbell (pictured), co-founder and chief innovation officer for Vibes, a mobile marketing technology leader.
“It’s a great step forward for customers to be able to pay in stores using their Amazon account,” said Campbell. “It makes sense for Amazon as the company starts to get more integrated into the brick-and-mortar world. Interestingly, it also starts to position Amazon as a competitor to PayPal, which already has a POS system and integration with other large POS providers.”
Campbell’s comments come on the day Vibes announced that its Catapult Wallet ManagerTM platform now supports Apple’s iBeacon technology, providing hyper-local marketing opportunities for retailers. The integration allows marketers to trigger timely and relevant information to their consumers based on their exact locations within a retail store.
Launched as part of Apple’s iOS 7 mobile operating system, iBeacon gives developers a framework to sense Bluetooth beacons – small devices broadcasting small amounts of data – within a 50-meter radius and trigger an action, such as a push notification. Apple’s Passbook mobile wallet application is compatible with iBeacon, and when it senses a recognized iBeacon, content stored in the Passbook app can be brought to the consumer’s home screen.
“Retailers have always wanted to communicate relevant information to their customers while they shop in-store, but a major challenge has been the cost of implementing precise location-based solutions,” said Campbell. “As a result, iBeacons – a cost-effective tool – will be used to change the in-store shopping experience. Retailers will now have greater ability to have highly contextual conversations with customers via their mobile devices that can really influence shopper behavior.”
“Beacons offer an innovative alternative to near field communication (NFC),” added John Haro, Vibes’ chief technology officer. “Three things – power, cost and range – allow it to be so. NFC has struggled to gain market adoption, so it will likely remain a niche technology that solves specific problems, whereas beacons could become a widely accepted technology that solves a range of retailers’ problems.”