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James Bond would use mobile payments

April 23, 2015

James Bond uses gadgets to succeed on his missions, retailers should do the same and upgrade their POS systems and sales platforms. 

Ian Fleming’s character James Bond has enjoyed popularity ever since Sean Connery starred as 007 in Goldfinger. As a secret agent, Bond is very skilled and able to overcome many challenges. He saves the world again and again. However, his ability to fight and seduce vixens is not why he always triumphs. Gadgets play a big part in is repeated success. Bond is also always well dressed and groomed, improving his faculty to charm his way into the inner circle of criminal masterminds. The MI6 agent may not know it, but he actually embodies many characteristics that help make companies successful in business today.

Technology and gadgets make business better
Companies today can benefit from a host of gadgets and technology solutions. Retailers and merchants today are at a crossroads. The days of customers visiting stores and purchasing items with cash are over. Today, consumers increasingly search online for items they want to buy and scroll through e-commerce catalogs to find the best deals. Additionally, people no longer use cash for the majority of their transactions. Debit and credit cards are more convenient, however, a new trend emerging is the use of mobile payment services. Digital wallets like Apple Pay allow customers to make contactless payments by simply waving their smartphone in front of a point of sale device.

Apple Pay also uses tokenization and fingerprint authentication to make sure transaction data is safe and secure. Similar to Bond’s gun, Apple Pay can only be used by the registered owner. In order to allow customers to behave like secret agents when purchasing items in-store, businesses should make sure that their point of sale devices are enabled with near-field communications. NFC World reported recently that a large percentage of consumers want to use Apple Pay yet find that retailers have not enabled NFC.

The old magnetic stripe readers do not work with NFC and Apple Pay, and are also far less secure. Q, bonds gadget provider, would never give his secret agent something as antiquated as a magnetic stripe reader. Companies should extend the same courtesy to their clientele. Greg Weed, director of card research at Phoenix, said the demand for Apple Pay is there.

“Fifty-nine percent of Apple Pay users have gone into a store and asked to make a purchase with Apple Pay,” said Weed, according to the news source. “However, the early-on transaction potential is being undercut by low repeat usage and lost payment opportunities.” 

Loyalty programs help cement relationships
Other innovative solutions that make companies more like James Bond are EZ Pay solutions and Loyalty Programs. EZ Pay provides a convenient way for companies to manage their businesses expenses in an automated way. Loyalty programs are good for customers and retailers alike because merchants will be able to identify which customers visit their stores the most, and those customers, in turn, will benefit from continuing to shop at those stores. Giving clients rewards cards helps cement the relationship between retailer and consumer. In the same way that Bond gets special access to secret locations around the world, preferred customers will be privy to perks and benefits that the ordinary customer may not know about.

Stay classy because presentation matters
Even when Bond is fighting nefarious characters or breaking into secured facilities, he does so wearing designer clothing and an Omega watch. Bond drives the nicest cars and stays at five star hotels. As a result of his extravagant ways, the secret agent is able to infiltrate the most well-guarded criminal organizations and slip under the radar. Companies can learn from his example.

For businesses, maintaining an attractive showroom and website is essential for keeping consumers engaged. Especially considering the trend for people to shop online using a mobile device, making sure e-commerce catalogs look good when accessed from smartphones can help increase revenues. Customers that do not like looking at something will not look at it very long. Bond’s appearance gets him into exclusive locations and a company’s online presence can provide it with greater visibility from consumers.

In physical stores, sales platforms and point of sale devices should also look new and modern. This is the age of the smartphone and the smartwatch. Reuters reported on the upcoming release of the Apple Watch. FBR Capital Markets senior analyst Daniel Ives believes demand for the product will be higher than previously anticipated.

“A lot of consumers are going to go to the store on Friday trying to buy a watch,” Ives said, the media outlet noted.

Old websites, outdated sales terminals and paper receipts will make a retailer look behind on the times. An upgrade in POS systems can provide that cutting edge look that continues to keep Bond popular throughout his decades on the big screen. 

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