iMobile3 opens Beacons’ mobile payment possibilities

passmarketWith more interest being shown towards iBeacons and their use for in-store marketing and loyalty purposes, Florida-based iMobile3 have offered marketing agencies a new tool for their mobile wallet campaigns. iMobile3’s PassMarket is a cloud-based mobile wallet platform that allows merchants to send offers and loyalty program notifications to Apple Passbook, Samsung Wallet, Isis Wallet and Google Wallet accounts held by their customers.

The latest edition of PassMarket, is aimed at marketing agencies which manage mobile wallet marketing for a number of merchants. It enables agencies to manage all of their merchants from a single online portal and to measure campaign results. IMobile3 have now updated their 2012-launched PassMarket platform and renamed it PassMarket Beacon Edition.

PassMarket Beacon Edition will enable retailers who use either the PassMarket platform or PassMarket iOS or Android applications to offer gift cards and mobile payments. Both PassMarket platform and applications are intended to simplify the loyalty, rewards, gift cards and payments processes for both retailers and consumers. Consumers who join participating retailers’ loyalty program will install a virtual pass in their mobile wallet. The pass will be beacon-enabled, similar to Apple’s iBeacon micro-location technology.

“The question of whether there is a demand for mobile wallets depends on the definition of ‘wallet,’” said Ben Jackson, senior analyst at Mercator Advisory Group. “Starbucks has shown that people will use mobile payments, since 11 percent of all its United States’ transactions in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2013 were conducted via mobile payments. “Other companies, such as Dunkin’ Donuts are building their own mobile apps — or wallets — that are starting to see traction,” he said. “Right now, there needs to be a compelling reason for the shopper to switch to a mobile payment.”

Though the payment system is not yet live at any retailers, many of PassMarket’s existing customers have agreed to deploy the system. Burrito chain Moe’s Southwest Grill is preparing to adopt the technology nationwide, as is Global Franchise Group, owners of ice cream franchise Marble Slab Creamery, as well as DMEautomotive (DMEa), which provides marketing programs to automobile dealers. DMEa has recently announced Mobile Rewards, a mobile wallet marketing program for automobile dealers powered by PassMarket.

However, not all industry observers believe that Beacons and their entwined marketing campaigns are such a ‘killer’ app. Wooshping’s founder and Managing Director, Rupert Englander recently wrote in his blog that consumer challenges still exist with the use of Beacons. Englander highlights the three concerns as; multiple apps needed, proactive action needed by the consumer to activate them when entering each premises and the hit and miss offerings that could ensue when everything is activated. Englander is not entirely negative on the subject but does warn that, “Beacons need to be seen as part of the mix of consumer mobile engagement, rather than the only means of engagement”.

“Agencies will be interested in PassMarket ability to connect to any traditional campaign platform, such as email, print or web, via our PassMarket API (applications programming interface),” Bob Leonard, iMobile3’s CEO, said in a statement. “This feature gives them a very efficient way to augment their current marketing solutions, regardless of the channel.”

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Categories: Digital Wallet, Loyalty, Mobile Payments, Mobile Wallet, Retail

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