Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

Employee Recognition Goes Social

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Social media has made a big BOOM in the workforce. If you don’t believe it just ask any one of your employees using Facebook and LinkedIn, or, check their Tweets. As employees dive headfirst into the social media pool, it’s time for their employers to take the leap too. You can join the 40% of U.S. employers that have a social media at work policy, or you or you can join the workplace socialization movement.

This has led to the  development of a “Facebook for work” type of forum, where projects and goals can be shared and discussed publicly and workers are able to participate in the conversation by “liking” or “commenting”.

Incentive Magazine’s, Jennifer Lumba, discusses some helpful tips on how to best use these popular social networks to leverage the most out of social recognition in the workplace:

Name names, and name them often- Leveraging social networks is a great way to praise and acknowledge those that go above and beyond on a company-wide scale.

Allow recognition to go beyond just employer to employee- By adding voting or ‘liking’ to status updates you can give the opportunity for peers and managers alike to acknowledge a job well done.

Make the goal clear- Defining and publishing goals that team members can then sign up for creates a public forum for praise and recognition when workers succeed in making progress towards those goal.

Check out more tips on how to take your recognition program social.

Industry Giants Combine for Contactless Payments during London 2012 Olympics

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Longtime Olympic sponsor Visa, and cell phone giant Samsung have combined forces to launch a mobile app that will allow for patrons at the 2012 London Olympics to pay for purchases with a wave of their hand. The Visa payWave technology uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to allow consumers to pay with a wave of their mobile phone, with an approved smartphone at a specially designed mobile payment terminal. Although the technology is limited to consumers who have the approved device, this technology is believed to take less time at POS than any credit card, debit card, or cash transaction. Additionally, statistics from credit card comapnies show that consumers tend to spend more per transaction at mobile payment terminals.

This technology, if it catches on from the global exposure at the 2012 Summer Games, could revolutionize payment systems. Imagine being able to redeem a gift card with a wave of your hand, instead of waiting in line to redeem your gift. The time efficiency and convenience of payment could revolutionize payments, as well as change the way consumers handle their smartphones. Phones could turn into a consumer’s, phone, computer, wallet, and bank all tucked safely into their pocket.

How do you see Contactless Payment affecting credit, debit, and gift card use going forward? For more information check out this Point of Sale News article.

Tips for Shopping with your Mobile Wallet

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

As mobile wallet technology becomes more common, and more retailers begin accepting programs like Google Wallet and MasterCard PayPass it is important to know how and when to use your mobile wallet technology. These tips will help maximize your experience AND keep your financial information secure.

Tap-and-pay systems: Systems like Google Wallet and MasterCard’s PayPass are going to only gain momentum. The technology is improving (for instance moving away from a tap, and more towards a wave motion), and the types of locations accepting this form of payment is increasing. How different would it be to do away with metro card systems for public transit, and simply be able to swipe your SmartPhone? It may happen sooner than you think.

PayPal mobile payments: Mobile banking apps such as these allow you to make purchases, and even in some cases, transfer funds without disrupting your life. You can order pizza and pay from the couch, or even transfer bonus funds from your company to your employees, making year-end bonuses instant and convenient.

Roaming credit card readers: These devices allow small businesses and organizations, such as a Girls Scout troop in Ohio (who boasted a 13% increase in cookie sales) to use credit cards without paying a prhibitive fee. These credit card readers come at either a nominal fee (usually a small percentage of each sale) or free to the user. And don’t fear about the initial security concerns, readers encrypt financial information before transmitting to the bank.

Mobile wallet technology is growing, so make sure you know the basics of how to use it, when to use it, and which products to take advantage of. For more information on mobile wallet technology check out the article in U.S. News and World Report.

Mobile Banking is changing consumers' relationship with their money

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

The latest analytics from comScore Inc. indicate that the number of consumers using mobile online banking has increased 45% since one year ago.  This staggering number is proving the shift to mobile technology use is growing, and most importantly, that consumers are beginning to trust mobile technology more as it continues to develop. Upon the initial introduction of mobile financial applications the majority of consumers indicated through various surveys and studies that they used mobile technology, but would not do so for banking or financial purposes.

Having a trusting consumer base has caused a massive growth in mobile banking, which could also mean big changes for gift card usage and receipt of employee rewards.  Imagine getting a spot reward, gift card from your boss for doing well on a big project, and having it download right to your phone. Or having your year end bonus go into your checking account and being able to move that money around on your way to buy your holiday gifts. Mobile banking is changing the way people handle their money. How will it change your financial attitudes? Do you trust mobile banking?

For more information on the latest comScore Inc. analysis click here.

Mobile Retail: Combining in-store and online shopping

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Increasing numbers of consumers are using their mobile devices while shopping.  In tough economic times, consumers are always looking for the best deal, and will do extra work and research to ensure that they get the best price.  Consumers are now looking for deals, coupons, rewards, and free gifts through their mobile devices.  63% of consumers asked in the 2011 Hipcricket Mobile Marketing Survey said that they had accessed a retailer’s website from their mobile device, and 41% said they had done so from inside a retail store.  Mobile technology is revolutionizing the way consumers shop and receive coupons and special offers, it is even changing the way employers give out rewards and incentives. Imagine getting your holiday gift in a gift card form, right to your mobile device.


33% of consumers indicated that they would be interested in receiving special offers through their mobile device, which often includes quick response deals, deals only good for a few hours after receipt of the coupon. This statistic proves how engaged consumers are, and how even when consumers are on the go, or even at work, they are a captive audience for retailers looking to deliver coupons, offers, and even free gifts.

Consumers are allowing retailers to access them on their mobile devices, which means a constant cycle of deals, coupons, and shopping.  This holiday season mobile engagement is going to play a big role in retailer success. If you use mobile retail sites or deals leave us a comment and let us know how you use them, and what advancements you would like to see in the future.


For more information on the 2011 Hipcricket Mobile Marketing Survey, or mobile retail strategy click here.

Google Wallet, gaining steam, revolutionizing payment

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

It’s baack, we have blogged about it before, but now it walks among us, so it seems time to revisit Google Wallet.  It is the first smart phone app, only available on a very select few smart phone models, that allows you to complete payment transactions using your phone, instead of a credit card, or the prehistoric form of payment, cash.  Google wallet is revolutionizing commerce, and how people recieve rewards.  Imagine how easy it would be for a company running a health and wellness program to simply place electronic CVS/Pharmacy gift cards in their employees’ Google Wallet accounts, instead of going through the hassle of ordering physical cards, and having to have the cards activated.

As revolutionizing as Google Wallet could be, it will still take time to catch on.  For one, it is not yet widely available, and it would be a bit of a stretch to say that people will switch cell phones, or even carriers for this technology.  Additionally, it remains to be seen how many consumers will actually use the technology, given that a wide margin have expressed discomfort in using mobile technology for financial purposes, give the possibilities of identity theft and hacking.

Google Wallet will revolutionize commerce, and the face of the gift card industry, just not immediately.


For more information on Google Wallet, from someone who has actually tested the technology, click here

Small Business Innovation: GoPayment

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

This week Verizon Wireless and Intuit introduced technology that is changing the face of small and medium sized businesses.  Ever been to your local mom and pop shop, only to discover they are hesitant or unable to take your credit card? Well fear no more, for all of you carrying around cash-less wallets, this new technology will come in handy for you! Intuit and Verizon Wireless rolled out the GoPayment system, a mobile app for a smartphone or tablet, with a small, pocket-sized credit card reader that actually transforms your mobile device into a credit card reader.  Compatible with Android, Blackberry, and iOS the GoPayment system allows businesses to give any customer the option of paying with plastic, instead of having to turn down potential business.  GoPayment allows users to add tips, taxes, and even syncs with newer versions of Quickbooks, which basically means the accounting for small businesses will do itself, if this system is implemented.  This is the answer for small businesses, mobile businesses, or any business that is eager to bring ease of payment to its clients.  How would you use this system? Do you feel secure with a system like this housing your financial information? Do you think it could be used as instant gratification for employee rewards and sale of gift cards? Let us know what you think about GoPayment by leaving a comment!


For more information on Intuit and Verizon Wirless’ GoPayment system click here.

Multi-Channel Retailers, Gift Cards, and Profit Margins

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

The number of consumers shopping across multiple channels is expanding while retailers everywhere face margin challenges and an uncertain economy. Consumers will seek information both on-line, and through mobile technology but will only shop in the most convenient channel. Multi-channel retail has become theexpectation (and a competitive advantage). This strategy allows the company to be everywhere the consumer is shopping, and lowers the risk the shopper will inquire at their outlet, and spend their money elsewhere. The difficult part of multi-channel retail is making the transition and keeping up with the consumer trends.

How are multi-channel retailers reacting to this change in consumer shopping?

  • 67% of retailers currently enable cross-channel returns ( buy it on the internet, return instore)
  • 64% of retailers provide product availability across channel
  • 31% provide loyalty point redemption through multiple channels
  • 23% provide transparency/consistency of pricing
  • 18% provide in store self-serve kiosks

These are pretty staggering numbers.  The retail industry is changing based on consumer dollars, because in this kind of unstable economy retailers have to follow the money, and find consumers on the consumer’s terms. What do you think? Leave us a comment and let us know how you use multi-channel retailers, or how you see the technology being used in the industry.

Who Needs a Wallet When You Have a Smartphone?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Can’t find your wallet as you are running to the store?  Soon, this will be no problem, as long as you can find your smartphone.  Google will soon be launching “Google Wallet,” an application that turns Smartphones (starting only with certain Android powered phones) into mobile payment systems.  The technology will use NFC (near field communication) technology to allow consumers to pay for purchases, receive special offers, and administer loyalty and rewards programs.  So does this new technology bring online customers offline, or offline customers online…let us know what you think!

For more information on the launch of Google Wallet, click here.

Google, NFC, and Mobile Payment

Monday, March 28th, 2011

A major advancement in mobile payment came last week when Google announced that it will enable content monetization through Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile payment systems.  This could not only make a mobile phone into a payment system, but also maximize and transform the effectiveness of point of sale displays.  This announcement comes shortly after Apple made a similar announcement about implementing NFC mobile payment options on its mobile devices.

This development enables phones to become as or more important than someone’s wallet, because it adds the functionality of a payment system for goods and services, to the already multi-faceted smart phone market.  To learn more about Google and NFC technology click here.  Any thoughts how this might affect the mobile gift card market going forward?