Category Archives: payments

Starbucks US Takes 3m Mobile Payments Each Week

Starbucks chief digital officer, Adam Brotman, has revealed at the annual shareholder meeting that the company is now taking more than 3m mobile payments in the US every week. “We’re a leader and its accelerating. At this rate, about 10 per cent of all tender in US stores will be mobile payments by the end of this year,” he said.

Speaking to investors, Brotman said that the company now has 10m active monthly users on iOS and Android. “We’re adding another football stadium every week, about 100k downloads,” he added. The company’s mobile sites and apps combined reach 34.8m unique people every month, “more traffic than the amount of web visitors to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal combined.” Mobile app users will now be able to collect loyalty points and pay using their smartphones in Starbucks’ new Teavana stores.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz opened the annual event with news that the company is nearing its all-time high valuation, currently standing at $43bn. In the last three months, it has opened its first store in India, along with its first and 800th in China.

Despite recent scorn for tax avoidance, Starbucks was named the fifth most admired company in the world by Forbes.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and first published here:

PayPal and Jadu Launch Weejot Charity Web Apps

Jadu has launched an app creation platform integrated with PayPal’s Express Checkout to help charities create web apps that can quickly process tablet and smartphone donations.

Weejot was launched with the Alzheimer’s Society by Suraj Kika, CEO at Jadu, who demonstrated the platform. “It allows non-technical people to build apps in real-time,” he said. “You can deliver to any device without app store approval. I’ve just built an app in one and a half minutes.”

The apps can help fundraising managers capture data on who is donating, where, using GPS, and why. They are responsive and adaptive to different screen sizes, including tablets, but don’t work on older handsets. If charities have developers in-house, they can build their own custom templates, but as the platform is free for a year, and negotiable thereafter, it is designed to be used by chairities without large budgets. The platform is cloud-based and open source so any updates made by developers can be shared with the whole community.

Cardless payments

PayPal currently has 123m users and enables people to pay on the platform without entering their card details. Using PayPal, charities can build in monthly donations so users can schedule payments like a DirectDebit. Although Kika said there were no plans to integrate with other payment sources, developers can wire in their own. The apps natively supports Giftaid.

John Lunn, global director of PayPal Developer, said that PayPal already has more than 300,000 not-for-profits collecting donations on its platform, processing $4.6bn every year, but only 3 per cent are currently coming from mobile.

He suggested that future applications could see charities have NFC tags or QR codes on street fundraisers’ clipboards to make it simpler and feel safer to sign-up in the street. He also highlighted that by using PayPal Now, charities could take on-the-spot chip and pin payments using a mobile device with the chip and pin reader. “We don’t want to interfere in someone’s decision to do something by putting too much in the middle. Weejot Donate makes simple impulse things easy.”

Download, tweet and like

Users can download the web apps to their phone, whether that is singly, or as an ‘app store’ from the relevant charity. The charities can add in Twitter and Facebook automation so users can either communicate to others that they have made a donation, or like the Facebook page. They can also ask users to tell them why they made the donation.

Liz Monks, director of fundraising at the Alzheimer’s Society, said that charities need to use technology in ways that suits the donor. She pointed out that during the recent Comic Relief campaign, more than 60 per cent of donations were made on mobile between 9 and 10pm.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and first published here:

Spotlight: Droplet Cardless Mobile Payments Startup

A mobile payments service is launching in London with a very different proposition to other solutions coming onto the market.

The Droplet iOS app enables its users to load money onto their phone by direct debit or using their bank card so they can ‘send’ payments to merchants or friends for free – paying anyone who has signed up to the service.

The service has been trialled in Birmingham with 60 merchants signing up so they can accept instant mobile payments and take advantage of the company’s ‘no transaction fees’ offer. Initially people could pay at participating retailers by scanning the unique merchant QR code in store, but the app now works with the phone’s GPS to identify who to make a payment to. Users can browse a map for Droplet merchants and see who is offering special deals.

Droplet is launching in London on Wednesday and the company says it is in negotations with several ‘national retailers with shops on every high street’, with the first partnership to be revealed at the event. There is a one-off £1 charge to make the link between the app and the bank account being used to make direct debits – which is then given back to you.

Monetisation will come from the company’s ‘tools marketplace’, which the company’s CTO, Will Grant, sees as becoming the ‘app store for payments’. Developers will have access to the company’s APIs so they can create and sell customised tools, including things like ticketing and loyalty funtionality.

“We know payments really well but we don’t know about things like tickets or car parking – the marketplace is going to be great for us and great for them,” said Grant. Merchants can add a Droplet key to their till and receive email or push notifications when payments to their Droplet account have been made. The company is also working with ePOS companies to integrate the technology directly and offer different solutions within the marketplace. Merchants can also use a smartphone or tablet to monitor their account and reconcile the Droplet balance with their till.

“We felt having a card reader was almost a generation of technology backwards, you’re still relying on people putting their card into the reader. Droplet is taking the friction out so hopefully people will need their card less. We’re really good for smaller retailers because there will be no monthly charge for a card reader but we’re also looking at bigger retailers too.”

The app will be launched in other major cities across the UK, including Bristol, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here:

Mahala Social Marketplace in beta

Mahala, a social network monetisation platform, is set to launch this month, enabling anyone to buy and sell products on their Facebook wall and other platforms via a secure QR code (S-QR).

The Mahala Mobile Shopper app is in beta and will be available soon on iOS, Android and BlackBerry World. Buyers simply link it with their PayPal account and scan any QR code from the company. Sellers can create an S-QR for each product or service, upload it via the Mahala portal and then share it.

The company believes this will help independent musicians, film makers and artisans to sell their wares without the need for an eCommerce site. The codes can also be placed in print or on other surfaces, like t-shirts.

Asked if this is a first, a company spokesperson, said: “It is the first. Security has always been the issue. It is not as easy as it looks. The security and convenience behind Mahala’s solution are key.”

The platform was born out of an initiative to bank the unbanked in South Africa. Sonny Fisher, CEO of Skynet Technology Group, said: “This marks the culmination of four years of hard work by our teams of global experts. By securely monetising the social networks, we have staked our claim in the payment space. This is the first of many revolutionary payment solutions that we are rolling out globally during the course of 2013.”

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: