Robert NotteChief Technology OfficerJamba Juice Co.
Robert Notte, chief technology officer for Jamba Juice, spoke with eMarketer about why the smoothie seller is bullish on supporting multiple mobile payments platforms.
eMarketer: When it comes to mobile payments, why would a retailer choose one technology platform over another—NFC (near field communication), for example—or do you anticipate multiple solutions?
Robert Notte: Our point of view is that it’s not really about one technology. We think there will be multiple technologies supporting mobile commerce. The NFC approach will certainly be part of that equation.
eMarketer: Is there any one technology platform that is emerging as a leader or is more prominent? There doesn’t appear to be one standard.
Notte: No, there isn't. And, quite honestly, I don’t think there will be one standard for some time, if ever. I think each technology solution brings certain advantages—and even some disadvantages—over the others. I think the consumer will dictate what technology they’ll use, because there are multiple technologies available. NFC offers the convenience of speed at the point of sale where you just tap your phone and not only are you able to pay for your products, but you can also redeem coupons and offers and tie into loyalty programs.
There are other payment technologies that are available through Wi-Fi like Square’s, which has more of a check-in component where there are no cards, just a visual confirmation for payment. It’s going to depend on consumers and what they feel more comfortable with. We believe that we need to be in a position to support all of these technologies going forward.
eMarketer: What are the obstacles facing retailers with respect to NFC?
Notte: The biggest obstacle is that it is another piece of hardware. Probably the biggest downside for NFC is that it will require retailers to have NFC readers in their stores. When we first started down the mobile path, our stores did not have NFC readers. Now technology is starting to catch up, so more of the point-of-sale providers are coming out with point-of-sale terminals that have NFC readers embedded.
eMarketer: How do you see mobile payments changing your business?
Notte: There’s the convenience factor and speed, but also it will help drive additional traffic to our stores because we’ll be able to deliver more relevant offers. That’s where we’ll start seeing some really big benefits. For example, rather than the consumer having to carry a loyalty card with them, they’ll store everything in a mobile wallet. We think that will drive higher adoption on the loyalty side.
Once we get that data, we can track certain things and push more relevant offers. We are very excited about mobile payments and want to be on the leading edge of technology to make it more convenient for consumers to transact in our stores.
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