Crunchfish is on a mission to make mobile payments as simple as holding a mobile phone next to a card reader.
The trouble with mobile payments today is that, for many customers, they’re just too much bother, according to Joachim Samuelsson, executive chairman at augmented reality (AR) specialist Crunchfish.
“You have to do too much fiddling with your phone: unlocking the phone, finding the right app, logging in, perhaps starting the camera to scan a QR code. It’s hardly worth it. No wonder people prefer just to use a tried-and-tested plastic card.”
In other words, mobile payment interactions are just too clunky. There are some efforts to get around the problem, but these fall short in other ways, he says. With an Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay, there is a certain degree of streamlining, because close integration with the phone’s operating system means that it’s not necessary to go into a dedicated app – but if you’re a merchant, you’ve got to decide on which customer groups you’re going to focus your efforts. It’s just not inclusive or universal enough.
“A merchant generally wants to take payments from every customer, regardless of what kind of mobile device they have,” says Samuelsson.
Simpler than a plastic card
What’s needed for mobile payments to truly take off, then, is a universal solution that is even easier than that so-simple plastic card – and Samuelsson says that Crunchfish’s patented physical m-commerce technology has the potential to disrupt the payment ecosystem in this respect.
In other words, Crunchfish’s technology kicks off a payment by holding any phone next to any payment card reader. That, says Samuelsson, will open the doors not only to faster, safer, simpler and more flexible payments but also to new models of in-store service delivery, integration of loyalty programs and handling of coupons.
That’s not just marketing hype, either. Crunchfish’s technology is already in use at Malmö Arena, one of the largest and most modern entertainment venues in Sweden. It has chosen the m-Commerce app Pej, with patented proximity technology from Crunchfish, as its preferred solution for handling ordering and payments from visitors.
This means that spectators can place orders via the Pej app – for refreshments, for example – while they’re enjoying an event. When an interval rolls around, they line up at kiosks and staff are automatically notified of their presence by beacon technology, so that they can start assembling their orders.
As soon as those refreshments are delivered into the hands of hungry spectators, payment can be made by a simple tap of the mobile phone at the service terminal. And, that, says Samuelsson, is a big bonus to arena visitors and employees alike, given that Malmo Arena can seat up to 12,600 visitors for a show, who typically make huge volumes of purchases in very short intervals during performances.
“This is a showcase for our technology – but in this digitized world, I’m really optimistic that we can put our solution out there very quickly,” says Samuelsson.
“With our technology, it’s about one interaction to make a payment – holding a phone next to a card reader and that kicks off the whole payment process. If it’s a small amount, that’s all you need to do, like a contactless phone. For a larger amount, you could enter your pincode on the card reader or acknowledge the payment on your phone,” he explains.
“Either way, the interaction is far simpler, far faster – faster even than taking your credit card out of your wallet or purse, because let’s face it, when you’re standing in line to pay, you’re usually looking at your phone anyway. It’s right there, in your hand, ready for you to kick off that payment with a simple action of holding it close to the card reader.”
Joachim Samuelsson of Crunchfish will be a keynote speaker at our Internet of Banking and Payments event, to be held at Canary Wharf in London on 21-23 November 2017.