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High street stores start accepting mobile vouchers

Mobile marketing company i-movo has developed a new mobile commerce system that allows vouchers sent to consumers by SMS to be redeemed at retail outlets over the payment counter.

The firm said the system will use payment terminals already available in most high street stores, such as stand-alone point of sale terminals and retail EPOS systems.

David Tymm, managing director at i-movo., said: “SMS marketing has been well established for several years. But until now, technology and security have been major barriers to success. Campaigns using SMS, although often targeting exactly the right audience, have typically offered low consumer value as issuers are concerned with fraud and over-redemption.”

According to Tymm, previous attempts to offer secure mobile marketing have been slow to be adopted as they have not been able to operate with existing equipment at point-of-sale and have required high levels of capital investment.

i-movo’s platform issues a mobile ‘voucher’, containing an individual identification number, which is delivered to a consumer’s mobile phone using SMS. Each number is checked at point-of-sale using the retailers’ existing EPOS or payment terminal devices.

The firm said that the electronic nature of the transaction ensures that the voucher cannot be used more times than is permitted by the issuer, and is limited to participating retailers within the duration of the promotion.

As the system is paperless, the retailer is refunded with the cost of the goods or promotion quickly, and administration time and cost are greatly reduced, i-movo claims.

The system also offers marketeers with reports and analysis in real-time, so campaign managers can keep track of results.

The system was developed in partnership with UK payment technology firm TS3 Interactive.

Michael Pettit, commercial director at TS3, said: “8.3 billion card-based payment transactions are processed in the UK every year through various types of electronic payment infrastructures.

“These networks are trusted implicitly by retailers and consumers alike – it makes sense for us to work with i-movo to develop a system that takes advantage of existing equipment and standards for secure electronic transactions.”

i-movo’s clients include Nectar, All-Bar-One and Cuervo.

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