Mobile Anarchy: A Digital Recap

How move to smartphones for everything from payment to loyalty may be game changer

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

Minority Report

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- The world of “Minority Report” may not be as far away as you think. In the sci-fi thriller, Tom Cruise walks through a department store where facial recognition software triggers targeted advertising and digital employees ask him if he wants to buy more of what he bought in the past.

In the movie, the twist is that Cruise’s character has surgically replaced his eyes with someone else’s so the advertisements are targeted to a completely different individual, but the core concept is the same.

For convenience store retailers, this fictional world could turn into cold, hard fact on a number of fronts. The February issue of CSP Magazine features as its cover the potential disruptive effects smartphones may have on the shopping experience—some so drastic as to eliminate the retailer from the supply chain altogether.

While relatively new, these issues have been bandied about in recent months at technology conferences, industry trade shows and online via blogs and chat groups. Here’s a compilation of some of those game-changing ramifications with links tying back to some of the original discussions they sprang from:

*What's driving retailer involvement? Several compelling factors on the retail end are driving mobile evolution, including avoiding interchange fees, data ownership and loyalty marketing.

*Viability of iconic credit-card brands. As mobile payment develops, the need to process transactions via traditional credit-card “rails” diminishes. As mobile-wallet brands assume prominence, the stranglehold that major credit-card brands have today may possibly fall away.


*Manufacturers using their brands to reach directly to consumers. Reaching directly to consumers with branded offers is becoming more of a reality for manufacturers. The question becomes, will retailers fall off the supply chain?



Manufacturers like Mondelez International are involved in developing projects, and they aren’t the only ones.

*Battle to own the smartphone's secure element. Part of the viability of mobile payment is the transmission of a person’s identity. Ownership of that “secure element” is an ongoing debate.


*Digital currency. To fully realize the potential mobile technology is bringing to market, retailers have to think beyond cash, credit and debit, and consider how couponing and rewards points become digital currency.



Click here to read the February cover story of CSP Magazine on the growing impact of mobile technology on the retail landscape.

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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