When it comes to the latest mobile marketing strategies, mobile marketing companies have been waiting for the day that mobile marketing services would not only make people aware of great deals and offers, but also allow them to engage in the full process of payment. Local mobile marketing has become so powerful that it’s easy to introduce offers to people as they’re within a few blocks or even a few feet of those offers. One thing has been missing, though: The ability to indulge that all-important “impulse buy” feeling and let customers make a connection before they even reach the storefront.
Bank of America is testing a new smartphone-based payment service using familiar Quick Response code technology that will allow users to respond to mobile marketing advertising with a purchase as soon as a few seconds after they become aware of an offer. This is big news partially because it’s Bank of America, usually reckoned the largest bank in the United States. The direction that BoA chooses to take mobile payments could have a huge effect on the next generation of mobile marketing solutions – not to mention its impact on just how reliable, viable, and user friendly such technologies will be.
The recent move is actually a shift away from NFC technology, which the banking giant formerly tested as the basis for a mobile payment solution. At the time, some folks called it a death knell for Quick Response codes. While it is true that getting shut out of the mobile payment space would definitely hurt Quick Response as a technological framework, it looks like it might get its second chance. Bank of America has declined to say more on the future of NFC in its portfolio, and commentators are still speculating as to the reason behind Apple’s NFC snub, keeping native NFC chips out of the iPhone 5.
On the other side of the fence, Datacard’s director of mobile solutions business dev, Sebastien Tormos, has claimed that an NFC-enabled iPhone may not be vital for the technology’s future. “I’m not too concerned, especially with bridging technologies available,” ZDNet quotes Tormos as saying. Of course, latest-gen Android phones do include NFC capabilities, although some of the most high profile news about the technology is related to the Black Hat Conference of information security professionals and the “ingenuous” hacking opportunities NFC can provide – allowing a malicious hacker to beam malware directly into your phone using its own NFC hardware.
It looks like, for now, Quick Response has come roaring back into the spotlight as the potential basis for a new era of mobile payments that could someday render the ordinary wallet obsolete. As for NFC, it was once assumed to be the obvious choice to be the ground for mobile payments – but it’s still swimming upstream against the feeling by many retailers and other businesses that NFC stands for “Not For Commerce.” Oy.