Russian shopping walls, Turkish social banking and Irish coins

Russians Shop While They Wait At The Metro Station

What’s In: Russian consumers taking after trendy Korean and Japanese pilots, and shopping off the “wall” with NFC payments.

What’s Out: Shopping the old fashioned way—one that requires physical shelves at high street stores.

What Happened: Why waste a trip to the store when you can shop while waiting at the subway station?

Shopping walls have landed at the Vystavochnaya subway station in Moscow, Russia—a project backed by the electronics retailer Media Markt and the Moscow Department of Transportation. The trial is currently active and will run until November of this year.

The mobile shopping display is made up of 18 columns that employ NFC and QR codes. Customers waiting at the station can shop without having to download any specific mobile applications. Each product includes a price tag that has an NFC tag and QR code. The display is designed to look like virtual shelves, and once a customer scans the item on the shelf, they are immediately redirected to Media Markt’s mobile website.

Once the site is loaded, users can choose to have the product delivered to their home free of charge, or select to pick it up at the location of their choice. To enhance the customer experience, the partnership is even offering free WiFi in the station.

Turkish Bank Takes Social Networking To New Heights

What’s In: Customers being able to conduct banking transactions on their social media accounts.

What’s Out: Having to open multiple applications on your phone to engage in social media and banking. You couldn’t possibly imagine the extra effort.

What Happened: Garanti Bank in Turkey announced the launch of its mobile banking feature that connects with various social media sites to allow customers to make money transfers to friends and family.

Garanti is one of the largest private banks in Turkey and has been working on creating solutions to help make mobile banking more appealing and user-friendly for customers. The Turkish bank is hoping to benefit from the growing social media craze and developed a service called “iGaranti”: a mobile banking service that operates through Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

Compared to other countries in Europe, Turkey is reasonably advanced in terms of mobile banking adoption, which, according to the bank, is a strong indication that social media integration will continue to encourage Turkish consumers to bank on-the-go.

Irish Town Loses Its Two Cents

What’s In: The Irish Central Bank testing the value of one-and-two- cent coins by eliminating them in a small Irish town through a rounding trial.

What’s Out: Consumers and merchants having to lug around coins that may never get used.

What Happened: The Irish town of Wexford is testing its luck as more than 240 businesses have decided to cut one- and two-cent coins during a rounding trial.

The initiative is part of Ireland’s National Payments Plan that was released by its Central Bank earlier this year. The motive behind the plan is to bolster the country’s economic stability by moving away from a cash and check culture, and towards an alternative payments system. The coin experiment will give Central Bank officials a better idea of how the reduction of small change will affect the economy, and whether it will be for the better or worse.

The trial will take place between September 16 and November 17 of this year, and will require all cash transactions at participating shops to be rounded to the closest five cents. However customers in Ireland have the option to refuse participation.

The Central Bank reported that one- and two-cent coins are a burden for merchants and consumers to carry around, and claimed that the production costs exceeded the value of keeping such coins in circulation.

If this trial is deemed successful we know one thing to be true: There won’t be any one- and two-cent pieces found in that pot of gold after this year.

Discount Grocer Launches Contactless Payments In The UK

What’s In: Expediting checkout lines across UK grocery stores.

What’s Out: Lidl is a busy discount grocer, and customers don’t like to be kept waiting in long lines at the checkout.

What Happened: Two recent studies have briefed us on two very important British characteristics: They like their food shop, and they don’t like to be kept waiting. Naturally, Lidl grocer decided to marry a dual solution that tackles both issues and is offering a quick payments program while at checkout.

The German-based discount supermarket chain announced the launch of its new NFC contactless payment technology scheme across all 600 stores across the UK.

The contactless rollout came as a result of a partnership with WorldPay, and was initially installed towards the end of July 2013, which followed a well-received pilot in February 2013. The pilot was deemed successful as over 65,628 contactless payment transactions were completed within the first two weeks of August after the pilot began. Lidl shares that it integrated NFC payments to help reduce the queuing times at checkout and enhance the customer experience.

“We decided to implement contactless in order to speed up payments and reduce queuing time,” said Lidl Spokesperson Georgina O’Donnell. “We were also responding to consumer demand to move with the times and offer a wider range of payment acceptance options. Installing the technology across so many stores was a significant project, but WorldPay helped to make it a smooth process. It’s still early days, but just two weeks on from launch we’ve processed over 65,000 transactions and customer reaction has been very positive.”

The initiative could prove to be promising for consumers, so long as the system doesn’t accidentally charge shoppers twice as it did at rival grocer Marks and Sparks.


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