This video blog post is an introduction to a series on mobile payment with IBM Payment Systems. It features a native iOS app (designed and developed by IBM Application Innovation Services, Germany) that implements a mobile shopping experience—either in store or while on the go. Clients can use this concept in a mobile commerce scenario for selling different kinds of products (including nontangible products like media downloads, micro insurances and so forth) or for charging for different kinds of services (like tickets, road charging, parking fees and so on) for mobile users. It can also be used for in-store shopping and payment in order to bypass the cash desk (queue busting scenario).
The app features a product catalog of a fictitious “Blue Shop” with vintage computer parts, electronics and sports equipment. You can browse the catalog and add items to your virtual shopping cart. You can also scan product bar codes (or QR codes) to obtain more information on a product and add it to your shopping cart. Think of the bar codes on physical products or on their package or in a printed catalog, or imagine product posters with QR codes for each product—either in store or in public (on the street, in a train or train station). The user can conveniently pay for his or her shopping cart using credit or debit cards, ACH direct debit or PayPal. If the user is logged in, he or she can also decide to save the payment instrument in his or her personal virtual wallet and use it for the next payment without having to enter the payment details again. The actual payment as well as the secure storing of payment instruments in a PCI-certified secure vault is executed by the payment gateway of IBM Payment Systems.
After the payment is done, the user can prove the transaction to a store agent in the queue busting scenario by presenting a QR code generated by the app. Or in the mobile commerce scenario, the user might decide to pick up the purchased items at the nearest store (identified using location-based services), and he or she can present the QR code as reference to the completed payment transaction to the agent at the pickup desk.
In addition, the user can browse his or her past orders in the order history and open the virtual wallet and manage the payment instruments in the wallet.
In a real-world scenario, this shopping experience could be augmented by elements like location-based notification, augmented reality, social media, loyalty programs, coupons, gift certificates and more. All of these aspects could be added to the app, or the mobile payment and wallet functionality could be extracted and made available for integration into existing shopping apps.
More to come
In later blog posts, I will describe another iOS demo app for mobile shopping at a point of sale (POS) system using the virtual wallet provided by IBM Payment Systems, and I will provide some details on how the apps and the Blue Shop server were built and tested as well as how the IBM Payment Systems payment gateway was integrated. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, please leave a comment below or send me a message on Twitter (@thhesse). How do you like the app (and the video)? Do you think that users would want to do mobile shopping that way? Do you see any other scenarios for mobile shopping?