Today, AT&T announces a test of 2D barcodes for mobile at the point of sale (POS). This pilot will be watched with interest. If it works, couponing/loyalty applications on the phone will no longer need to wait for chipset or hardware development to interact with the point of sale. From Glenbrook’s perspective, the most interesting implication is that retailers and marketing services companies can develop applications for point of sale. AT&T is wise to stay in front of this development. AT&T will use technology from Mobile Tag Inc., a provider of universal bar code reader technology.
According to the announcement AT&T is selecting up to 12 enterprise customers to participate in its charter program across key sectors including consumer packaged goods, retail, hospitality and financial services. The consumer barcode technology can be used across a variety of mediums including indoor and outdoor signage, packaging, catalogs, television, the internet, as well as traditional print and mail advertising.
Other examples of 2D barcodes and mobile couponing:
- The Starbucks/mFoundry launch that creates a prepaid card management tool with a 2D barcode that can be read from the phone at point of sale. The hope had been that this required no infrastructure changes, but unfortunately, it seems Starbucks is adding to their traditional POS devices to read the new bar codes. (See more on the mFoundry website here)
- JCPenny and Cellfire are also involved in this area with announcements last September, 2009. (CellFire page here)
For additional information on mobile couponing on visit the archives of our sister blog Payments News here.