Mobio, a Vancouver-based technology company, offers a mobile application to merchants and consumers, which facilitates the secure on-line purchase of merchandise via a QR Code. Here's how it works.
When a merchant pays the fee to become a Mobio affiliate, Mobio generates and provides the merchant with QR Codes, in addition to scan analytics and reporting services. The idea behind the affiliation is that it provides merchants, who might have limited funds and not a great deal of experience with 2D technology, with the ability to make use of 2D in their advertising and promotions.
From the consumer's perspective:
When a consumer downloads and installs the Mobio app, which is free, they are asked to enter personal questions, as well as credit card information, but they will only be asked for this information once. This is the main difference between Mobio and other mobile payment facilitators. With the consumer's data permanently and securely stored with Mobio, the consumer can shop from one Mobio affiliated merchant to another and never have to bother entering their personal or credit card information again. All they have to do is indicate which form of payment they wish to use (i.e., which credit card if more than one has been originally given as a payment option).
In an ideal setting, this is how a Mobio-based promotion and transaction would take place. A Mobio affiliated merchant uses a QR Code in a product/service advertisement and will generate the code, so that it resolves to the respective product page on their website. When the consumer sees the advertisement and wishes to purchase the product, all they have to do is scan the code, land on the product page, click what's required (i.e., size, color, quantity, etc.), click to purchase and then checkout. Upon checkout, all of the consumer's personal and payment information is pre-loaded, so there is essentially nothing to fill out. The transaction is complete; no more fumbling for a credit card, no more excessive typing.
Another service found on the Mobio platform is the ability for merchants to survey consumers as they move through the transaction process. The ability to ask these questions is not meant to interrupt the purchase process, but to help the merchant learn about the consumer in such a way that the information becomes useful in serving the future needs or wants of the consumer.
The Mobio app is currently available for iPhones and Android phones, and will be available soon for Blackberry. The number and geographic location of Mobio merchants is growing from month to month but, I believe, is primarily focused in the Pacific northwest and Canada.
At a time when marketers need to think about the overall customer experience and how seamless they can make it, the Mobio application, paired with QR Codes and a well thought out advertising campaign, can be a powerful tactic to deploy.