Tag Archives: discover

Google Wallet makes mobile payments a reality.

Years ago, when I was working in mobile marketing, mobile payments were all the rage.

Brands were just starting to experiment with SMS, and premium SMS messaging offered content creators an opportunity to monetize their mobile campaigns.

If someone with a text-messaging enabled mobile device saw your call to action, “Text WAYNE to 12345 to get Lil’ Wayne’s newest single!”), they could type in the keyword, send it to a short code and Voila! they were listening to Weezy right from their mobile phone.

Of course, it didn’t always work that smoothly or all the time.

If you had Verizon phone, for example, which restricted hyperlinks, good luck trying to click through to the URL provided on the link you received.

Or if you hit your monthly messaging limit, you wouldn’t be able to send or receive text messages at all.

And at the time, mobile payments were restricted to paying for premium mobile content on your wireless carrier bill.

In order to complete a purchase, there was a double opt-in process, where the user had to validate that they wanted the content and understood the costs and conditions associated with the offer.

Typically, taking advantage of these premium offers involved giving your wireless carrier AND the aggregator AND (in some instances) the content platform provider a portion of the fees associated with that purchase.

Subscription chat lines and information services, like KGBKGB, sprung up to tap into users’ voracious appetite for texting.

You couldn’t buy tangible things with your mobile device.

Outside of wallpapers, ringtones and music downloads, mobile content was the only thing you could really purchase.

Today, that’s no longer the case.

Smartphones, mobile web sites, and mobile apps let you use your mobile phone to purchase virtually anything.

You’re no longer tethered to your wireless carrier if you want buy something.

iTunes and the proliferation of copycat app stores mean that you can cop plenty of compelling content right to your device.

And not have AT&T or Verizon Wireless mucking about in the transaction.

But there’s a different mobile payments space growing and maturing.

We’ve seen early glimpses of that with PayPal.

Apps like Square that have turned your mobile phone into a payment processing center.

In Europe and Asia, paying using your mobile device is commonplace.

But here in the states, the growth of mobile payments has advanced at a snail’s pace.

Until now.

Google Wallet is a mobile payment system that allows its users to store their debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards on their mobile phones.

Using near-field communication (NFC), Google Wallet lets users make secure payments by simply tapping their phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout.

Although Google Wallet launched in 2011, it was only this August, that they set up expanded support to all major credit and debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

What does it all mean?

Well for one, you’re no longer reduced to making mobile payments solely with PayPal.

More importantly, the tedious process of entering your payment information, name, address, credit card number, expiration date, security code, etc., is as simple as providing your username and password.

This is a real boon for online retailers, who see the majority of their drop offs occurring at checkout.

The best thing about Google Wallet, unlike PayPal (the carriers) and virtually any other merchant processing system, is that they don’t charge processing fees.

No fees?

That’s awesome!

Mind you, I’m not a Google person myself.

Google Wallet doesn’t work on iOS devices.

So unless there’s an app in the works, hundreds of millions of Apple users will be in the dark.

But big up to all you Android users, who have the ability to truly experience what the mobile revolution is shaping up to be…

At least as it relates to mobile payments.

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Filed under apps, digital advocacy, mobile, technology

SoLoMo Profile: Wyst

The second company I’m going to profile for the Starters+Startups: The Future of SoLoMo & You panel I’m moderating is Wyst.

The Wyst app allows you to share geo-tagged photographs, with family, friends and members of your Facebook and Twitter social networks.

Wyst's homepage is spare.

In the header of the page, there are three icons next to a phone which offer:

Share experiences. As they happen, where they happen.

Discover new stories around you.

It’s a new kind of message in a bottle.

Since there was a video, I watched.

It’s a 3:13 minute commercial, that I think does a really good job of telling you what Wyst’s all about, without a single line of dialogue.

You simply follow this bloke around NY as he use the app and a companion screen of his iPhone shows you his Wyst thread.

Nicely done Wyst.

From what I gleaned from watching the video alone, you can take a picture, tag it with different emoticons and post it to your Wyst profile.

I’ll know more when I take the app for a test-drive.

The bottom of the page offers links to the App store, their social media profiles (Facebook and Twitter), the Latest News, Blog and About Us pages.

You can also sign up for the Wyst newsletter on the page.

The Latest News includes the fact that Wyst is now out of Beta and available in the iTunes App store.

The Blog takes you to a page which offers various Wysts of the Day.

It’s essentially a blog roll of different pictures taken by Wyst users all over the globe.

Wyst of the Day

Wyst’s About Us page is fairly irreverent.

It pays homage to the Brooklyn roots of the app, as well as the following:

“Wyst is a like a new kind of message in a bottle: it’s a fun app that enables you to share cool moments, random musings, unique tidbits and interesting experiences by capturing them on a photo or text note and tagging them to a location for others to find. The idea came to us from a simple question:

Wouldn’t it be awesome to freeze this moment in time, in this place, so that when someone else passes by this same spot they can find it and experience it themselves?

As the Wyst site is light on pages, I checked out their Facebook and Twitter pages too (let’s get those numbers up fellas – okay?) while downloading the app from the App Store.

Wysts are a tad scarce, huh? Gimme a chance why dontcha!

I’m going to play around with their app this week too, so stay tuned for any updates.

Again, if you’ve used Wyst, like it or have an opinion, please share!

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Filed under apps, branding, mobile