Tag Archives: mobile payment

Technology Means Fair Play – Parking Apps

By the end of 2016, all parking meters in New York City will accept payment via mobile app. New York isn’t the first city to offer mobile parking meter payment (joining Boston, Fort Worth, Seattle, SLC, and others) and it won’t be the last. Interesting: unused parking meter money will be refunded to users. This is one of very few situations in which the government would volunteer to forfeit funds already in their possession. Historically, they may have kept monies in similar cases of overpayment to increase revenue or more likely to avoid the cost of processing more paperwork. Losses in annual revenue due to the refund feature are expected to be nominal, so it’s likely the latter.

New York City street with cars and taxis
Photo by Jon Ottosson

When technology makes transactions more seamless, it’s harder for either party not to play fair.

As the cloud replaces paper and user generated content competes with traditional journalism for greater media share of voice, policies that have served vendors and governments will give way to ones that serve users. Revenues from happy customers and their repeat purchases will characterize businesses that survive, rather than policies that hurt users but previously were not fought due to acceptance and a lower tech status quo.

Fine print, one-sided policies, and rigid contracts will go the way of the horse drawn carriage (and probably soon, the taxi). Keep an eye on companies like T-Mobile and Spirit Airlines. They put customers in control by foregoing required contracts, forced add-ons (e.g., paying for bags and peanuts), and in general offer more a la carte products. “We’ve never done it that way” and “our system wouldn’t support that” won’t be able to compete.

Reduce Commerce Friction: Travel and Hospitality

Remove friction from the customer experience, make the sale more likely. We are seeing a trend in travel and hospitality to make transactions and guest experiences hassle-free, higher tech, and less reliant upon hard copies and hard people. Make mobile device use free, experience-enhancing, and rewarding, and incremental revenue-generating for vendors – stay in business.

Travel and hospitality companies that don’t prioritize automation and mobility won’t be here in five years.

You can already see the market for a frictionless, more seamless guest experience in the successful offerings of progressive car rental companies like Silvercarairlines like SurfAirPorter, and Virgin, hotel chains like IHG with the health-themed, wristband-based EVEN Hotels, Marriott with Moxy, etc. Reduce check-in time, reduce waits, reduce error-prone interactions with agents. Move the printed rental contract to the cloud. Take a snooty or busy or bribed human concierge and replace them with an app. Develop culturally sensitive sub-brands focused on different market needs and smarter guest profiling. The obvious fixes abound.
Silvercar homepage screenshot
While I loathe both of these resorts, I should touch on theme parks: Disney and SeaWorld are handling the trend well.
 Disney MagicBand family
Disney World’s MyMagic+ is a billion-dollar tech project that includes hotel and resort-wide WiFi and microchip-embedded wristbands that interact with sensors throughout the park and link to a reservation system to book attractions weeks in advance. Disney’s MagicBands use radio frequency (RF) technology, replacing theme park tickets and hotel room keys with tap and pay technology. MagicBands and Apple Watch (coming early 2015) both remove commerce friction, i.e., the hassle of getting a phone out of a pocket to tap and pay.

SeaWorld’s 7/15/14 app update incorporated a new mobile payments system. Now guests can use the app to pay for gifts, food, and Quick Queue access at the ride instead of paying in advance via desktop or at the front of the park.

SeaWorld iPhone app

But isn’t disconnecting important?

One could argue that the onslaught of offerings like free WiFi and charging stations at amusement parks and resorts only perpetuates the always-on, distracted state of mind from which a true vacation should provide escape, particularly when with family. If you really want a relaxing unplugged escape, however, you shouldn’t be at Disney or SeaWorld. If a parent uses a theme park’s free WiFi and app to decrease time spent waiting in line, to augment reality and amuse the kids, or to enhance the experience by hashtagging an Instagram photo to get a free Lego toy upon exit, everyone wins (guests, park, and brand). Not to mention that having instant communication via mobile can make a family trip more manageable and efficient – as long as you can find a convenient charging station.
What traditional airlines are doing for connectivity – further reading:

 

Digital Presidents, Skeuomorphism, and Commerce With a Side of Content – The Digital Dive Podcast Episode 7

This week, we offer our insight on a variety of topics, including the ousting of Apple iOS miracle worker and polarizing executive Scott Forstall, the design debate over skeuomorphism, presidential campaigns and voting in the digital age, and commerce as content.

Topics:
I. Adventures in Mobile Payments Part 3: SUCCESS
Melanie and I share a happy update on our ongoing pursuit of mobile-friendly vendors. Square and Level-Up

II. Apple Kicks Scott Forstall to the Curb; Skeuomorphism

thermo app thermometer skeuomorphism design
Skeuomorphic design

After refusing to sign a formal apology for Apple Maps, among other things, iOS chief Scott Forstall was ousted from Apple. We discuss one of his Jobs-like signatures, skeuomorphic style (replicating the shape of necessary parts of old forms in a new medium where those elements are no longer required). Forstall was a mobile software leader and prolific inventor but also a divisive figure. “Forstall’s name is second on the patent that lays out exactly how the iPhone and iPad work. The first name on that patent is Steve Jobs.”

III. Commerce as Content (and vice versa)
Pinterest, Fab, and Shopkick

IV. Digital Media and the Presidential Election
Electronic voting, ballots, and recounts. Security and hacking at the polls. The future of voting.

Show Notes:

You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!


The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below.
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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Xbox Music, Microsoft Surface, and Avoiding Death-by-Cubicle – The Digital Dive Podcast Episode 6

This week we dive into Pinterest’s new privacy features, Xbox Music and Windows 8, Microsoft Surface, and LinkedIn Endorsements.

I. Mobile Payments– After another Atlanta festival, we follow up on Murder Kroger and Mobile Payments (Ep. 3)– Adventures in trying to pay with mobile while ducking under a funnel cake vendor’s oil vat to reach a power strip

II. Pinterest ups their privacy settings; stalkers wince

III. Microsoft launches Xbox Music, Windows 8, and announces the Microsoft Surface tablet: game changer or another “me too gadget”?

IV. M is crushing on Spotify–but will an upgrade to a Premium account put an end to the honeymoon? (stay tuned)

V. LinkedIn Endorsements – How it works (and why we don’t like it)

Tips on Tap:Mother In Law's Tongue plant

1. Dolphin browser for mobile: A fun alternative to your smartphone or tablet’s native browser. Based heavily on gestures. An excellent free app for iOS and Android.

2. Standing desks, dimming your monitor, and other ways to not slowly kill yourself in an office environment. Ergonomics.

3. Emily tells you how to literally clear the air with your Mother-In-Law’s-Tongue…yes you read that correctly. (The best low maintenance, worker-friendly office plant.)

Listen or subscribe in iTunes

 

Show Notes — Links

1. Pinterest Blog – Announcing Blocking & More Controls 10/17/12

2. Microsoft launches Xbox Music: What you need to know – PC World, 10/14/12

3. More Time Spent Sitting Linked to Higher Risk of Death; Risk Found to Be Independent of Physical Activity Level. Science Daily, 7/23/10

You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!


The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below.
Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

Follow us on Twitter @thedigitaldive_  and Like us on Facebook

The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Ask Forgiveness, Not Permission: iOS6, Futuristic Hiring, App Privacy Pitfalls – The Digital Dive Podcast Episode 4

Listen or subscribe in iTunes

Topics – The Digital Dive PodcastTM Episode 4:

iOS6 update

  • Do Not Disturb feature
  • Improved Calendar and Contacts privacy settings
  • Facebook integration, now native:
  • How to turn off syncing your Facebook friends contact info and birthdays into your iPhone
  • The shift toward native iOS control over user data sent to apps
  • Apple Maps vs. Google Maps
  • Passbook and mobile payments
  • iPhone 5
  • Lightning dock connector

Big Data and Future Hiring Practices:

  • Talent based hiring allows employee screening, questionable?*
  • Psychographic profiling

Ask forgiveness, not permission app developer culture

  • LinkedIn iPhone app privacy issues

Random: Emily’s continued “In the Future” theories: inter-vehicle communication

The Sass: Who would seriously put their mobile phone number on Facebook?

Tips on Tap:

1. Windows: How to rename a batch of IMG_xyz photos with a category name such as Beach_Day_043

2. Employee online monitoring at work: packet sniffers and how to hide your activity using a VPN. (Or just don’t do anything you know you shouldn’t do.)

3. iconfinder.com is a free graphics website with royalty free .png images useful for infographics, chiclets, and blog images*

*Show Notes – Links

Your iPhone calendar isn’t private—at least if you use the LinkedIn app | The app scrapes subject lines, meeting times, participants, notes, and more. 6/6/12 (Note: the app has since been updated, but for context see article)

Meet the New Boss: Big Data | Companies Trade In Hunch-Based Hiring for Computer Modeling. 9/20/12

iconfinder.com

You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!


The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below.
Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

Follow us on Twitter @thedigitaldive_  and Like us on Facebook

The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in