[Dave Birch] Ah, mobile payments.  What could be simpler than a system like Feed Tribes?  Consumers sign up through the company’s website, establishing an account that’s linked to bank account.  When customers are ready to pay at a participating retailer, they punch a PIN number into a text message and send it to the Feed Tribes SMS short code.   They get back a code that’s good for 15 minutes.  Then the customer gives that code to the cashier, who enters it into a machine at the POS.  This sounds (to me) remarkably similar to all the other pay-by-text services that didn’t work in Europe a decade ago.  I’m sure that Feed Tribes really believe that their payment method is not only convenient for consumers, but also allows merchants to have a closer marketing relationship with their customers.  But it isn’t convenient, and there are better ways to build a relationship with customers.

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Look at what our good friends at Eagle Eye are doing with ITV in the UK.  Here’s how it works:

  • Consumer views a commercial on ITV that contains a promotional offer.
  • Consumer texts in to advertised number to receive a promotional coupon.
  • Consumer receives an SMS mobile coupon from the ITV/EES system that contains a message and an 8 digit unique code.
  • Consumer takes mobile phone into retailer and makes purchase.
  • When prompted, consumer types 8 digit code into EPOS or chip and pin terminal to redeem offer.
  • Promotional data is provided instantly to brands/retailers for tracking/CRM.

Isn’t this a more worthwhile attempt to harness SMS at retail?

My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public. [posted with ecto]

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