Not too much of a surprise with its recent activity in the mobile space, but Bloomburg reports that Amazon is now considering NFC for its mobile services. Adding another big name to the list of companies pushing on NFC this year, Amazon has a few variables that may help it stand out in the crowd.
“Amazon is also considering creating NFC-based marketing services, one of the people familiar with Amazon’s project said. For instance, a consumer shopping for jeans who can’t find the right size in a retail store might be able to tap a handset against the item’s NFC tag to locate the correct item for order through Amazon.com.
Amazon already offers an application for Apple’s iPhone, called Price Check by Amazon, that lets consumers compare prices of in-store items with Amazon’s by scanning bar codes, snapping pictures, or saying or typing the product’s name.
The online retailer will decide whether and when to unveil the NFC mobile-payment services in the next three to five months, one of the people said.”
“The benefit of a mobile wallet service, such as the one Amazon may be building, is that it not only replaces plastic credit cards with a mobile phone, but it also allows retailers to immediately transfer rewards in the form of coupons, discounts, loyalty points and more to the handset used during the payment transaction.”
So Amazon would essentially be able to provide price comparison and additional incentives to someone shopping in a physical retail store… completing the cycle of domination over retail stores. As Invictus at The Big Picture pointed out recently, “This is no doubt one of the consequences of a population that walks around with smartphones running barcode scanning applications that allow us to see, touch, examine, try out a potential purchase and then, if it is to our liking, immediately search the web to find its best price — possibly (probably?) elsewhere, and maybe even order it before we leave the site at which we went to go see it in the first place. Unless it’s an impulse buy — walk in for a $12 thumb drive, walk out with a $700, 50″ flat panel? — why wouldn’t you:
- Pay a lower price
- Pay no tax
- Probably get free shipping
- Have your purchase in just 2-3 days”
Barry adds: “I have been playing with the Amazon PriceCheck barcode scanning app — it spells the end of retailing as we previously knew it . . .”
Like Google did last week, I wonder when Amazon ditches barcode scanning?