This is an exciting time for mobile commerce. There is an efflorescence of offerings with new blooms almost every week. A new example is SparkBase, now rolling out a major pilot of its PayCloud Mobile Wallet in the Chicago area. PayCloud makes, respectively, loyalty program participation and program management easy for consumers and merchants. SparkBase has offered rewards program management since 2004. Now, with its PayCloud approach, it is eliminating the need for a plastic card, tying in the smartphone with loyalty and gift card applications. The POS “magic” comes from partner Naratte that uses a terminal attached acoustic device to “hear” and identitfy the smartphone. It appears to be an elegant solution that could give NFC some competition.
SparkBase is launching a free app called Paycloud Mobile Wallet for Chicago-area shoppers who have iPhone and Android smartphones, and it does one simple trick: It “eliminates loyalty cards, allowing customers the option of waving a smartphone at a participating merchant’s countertop sensor to check in, redeem rewards and coupons and track their loyalty account status.”