The Digital Dive Podcast Emily Binder Melanie Touchstone Atlanta skyline

Murder Kroger and Mobile Payments – The Digital Dive Podcast Episode 3

In Episode 3 of The Digital Dive Podcast my co-host Melanie Touchstone of missmelt.com and I complain about current mobile payment technology holding us back in the slow lane of life, forcing young women to stand at cashless ATMs on Ponce near Murder Kroger.

The Digital Dive Podcast iTunes Emily Binder Melanie Touchstone Atlanta skyline
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Topics:

  • Apple and Samsung patent lawsuit
  • Effects on Pandora stock after announcement that Apple is in talks about an ad-supported radio network to be native on iOS
  • Mobile payments and banking apps, NFC, QR code and barcode scanners, Paypal, LevelUp new NFC dock
  • Future of FinTech (financial technology)
  • McDonald’s French Paypal payment experiment
  • Walmart, Target, and Best Buy retailers joining to create mobile payment app Merchant Customer Exchange
  • Tips on Tap:
    • Google Maps enhanced directions with Pegman to duplex screen
    • Digital Color Meter app on Mac OS – graphic design or web dev useful app
    • Uber car service mobile app

    Note 9/16/12: Clarification — Bump does not use NFC. iPhones do not have NFC.

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  • It was another interesting episode of the Digital Dive.

    I agree with the idea that more businesses should be offering
    cashless alternatives. However, as you both mention, it is going to take some
    time before most people feel comfortable using this type of technology.
    Therefore, to imply that a business is failing by not offering other ways to
    pay, particularly at a music festival or a similar event, I think is going too
    far. (At least in 2012.)

    Although technologies like Square are rather inexpensive to
    use, is this something that many people would use at this type of event?

    Again, I agree that it would be beneficial to offer to
    customers alternative ways to pay, and businesses might even get a few extra sales
    from intoxicated guests. However, when businesses do a cost benefit analysis,
    they might not feel it is worth the time and effort. (They might actually lose
    sales while they are processing transactions. If the lines get too long, customers could go to another vendor.)

    On the other hand, if they do offer it, they might get a
    boost in popularity among tech savvy customers. This could help increase brand
    loyalty and therefore lead to additional sales in the future. So, you might be
    right.

    Also, I was not aware that the Kroger on Ponce was nicknamed
    “Murder Kroger”. I shopped there a few times, without knowing its notorious
    past.

    Again, I enjoy the podcast and look forward to future episodes. Keep up the good work.

    • Chad, great points as always. I am unclear about your mention of potential delays in the line while a vendor is processing a mobile payment. The transaction should be as fast as a wave of the phone – it might even take less time than making change. If you have an inexperienced vendor/cashier, like the one King of Pops cart I mentioned in the podcast, that transaction may take longer til they get the hang of mobile payments. But once up and running smoothly, it should take about the same or less time than cash payment. Right?

      It does depend on the market, but in most metropolitan areas, I think providing mobile payment options could only increase A) sales; B) customer satisfaction for those who enjoy options and efficiency and forward-thinking; C) profit margin because many retailers (not at a cash-only festival) could save on the collective billions of dollars paid to credit card companies in processing fees. That money could go back into our economy – wouldn’t it be nice!

      One more thought — at a festival like Inman Park or even in the parking lot of cars and tie dye vans with hemp jewelry and grilled cheese vendors at a jam band concert, they are relying on adequate and functioning ATMs. They lose money when one of those rent-a-ATMs goes down (and customers come to them already frustrated and sweaty).

      I may be too much a pundit too soon. Thanks again for your insights.

      • Emily,

        What was going through my mind when I commented about mobile
        payments at festivals is that vendors are going to be in a temporary location
        that will require that they connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or the Internet
        connection on their smartphone. (At least that is how I assume the data is transferred.)

        I know that I had a lot of trouble connecting to the
        Internet on my smartphone in the Little Five Points area (particularly at Best
        Buy and Target when using shopkick and Foursquare.) Although I didn’t have
        problems near Piedmont Park, it might be different when a lot of people are
        trying to access it all at once.

        And, speaking from experience, there are many times when I
        can’t get connection to the Internet via my USB modem.

        The business or even the festival could set up a mobile Wi-Fi
        network (and they probably did.) However, as with any technology, in general,
        it’s not always reliable.

        I guess that I was thinking about Murphy’s Law. (However, as
        you point out, it happens with ATMs, also.)

        I’m in complete agreement with you about the use of
        alternative payments options in a business’s permanent location. And, I think that
        it is a good idea for businesses to try these technologies at festivals,
        sporting events, concerts, etc. My point was that it is too early to be
        mad at a business for not offering these options in 2012. It might be different
        in five years.

        These are just my thoughts.