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Top 10 mobile payments activations of Q2

As consumers grow increasingly comfortable with using their smartphones to pay for purchases, brands including Pizza Hut, Walmart and OpenTable have revolutionized the payments sector with AI-enabled initiatives, widespread mobile wallet rollouts and streamlined on-site checkouts.

The proliferation of mobile payment platforms, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, has prompted retailers and marketers to widen the scope of their mcommerce efforts to offer more enhanced point-of-sale options to customers. Payment and loyalty integrations, as well as relevant brand partnerships, abounded in this second quarter as brands discovered how best to maximize their audience outreach and fuel more sales among on-the-go consumers.

Additionally, payment integrations with wearables and artificial intelligence were at the top of several marketers’ must-have lists, giving individuals a preview of what the commerce sector may look like in the near future. Other marketers focused their Q2 goals on implementing branded mobile wallets and platforms into their preexisting applications.

Here are the top 10 mobile payments activations of 2016’s second quarter, in alphabetical order.

Chase’s QuickPay takes on PayPal with real-time transfers
Financial institution Chase bolstered the features of its peer-to-peer payment program to better compete against commerce behemoths such as PayPal and Venmo with a slew of new capabilities, such as real-time transfers. The QuickPay platform is set to introduce several new tools later this summer, including the ability to save and view receipts, as well as mobile enrollment.

QuickPay enables consumers to send payments to friends and family in real time, whereas in the past, the process typically took up to three days. They may also seamlessly add recipients from their smartphones’ contact lists, eliminating the need to manually enter in phone numbers or email addresses.

Consumers can access the P2P payment service via Chase’s mobile application.

Frontier Airlines soars through mobile transactions with tablet POS
Frontier Airlines revamped its in-flight services by giving tablets to flight attendants and letting them access a mobile point-of-sale system that allows faster and more streamlined checkout processes.

Consumers have come to expect convenient payment capabilities regardless of their location, a mindset that has prompted airline companies to implement forward-facing mobile payment systems onboard their aircrafts. Frontier Airlines tapped Samsung to power the mobile and tablet POS system, which enables flight attendants to move throughout the cabin and accept guests’ credit cards for onboard purchases, such as snacks and beverages.

The integration allows for real-time transactions to occur, a welcome departure from the previous method of in-flight purchases potentially taking up to one month to post to individuals’ accounts.

OpenTable rolls out in-app virtual tab, eliminating on-the-spot mobile payments
Reservation booking platform OpenTable’s latest mobile feature enables diners to click on the Tab button within its app when making a reservation, tell servers to put the bill on their virtual Tab and leave the premises once their meals are finished, all without needing to enter payment information on the spot.

The feature, which is currently being piloted at 75 restaurants in the Los Angeles area, allows diners to set up a virtual Tab prior to arriving at their restaurant of choice. Customers can skip the in-person bill-paying experience entirely if they have their credit card information already saved within OpenTable’s app.

The capability eliminates the need for customers to carry credit cards or cash, and also leaves more opportunity for them to enjoy personalized service and uninterrupted dining.

Pizza Hut pilots smartphone-to-robot proximity payments via MasterPass
Pizza Hut in Asia is working on piloting a new in-store experience later in 2016 that links a humanoid robot to MasterCard’s MasterPass digital wallet via a mobile device, allowing customers to interact with the AI being, as well as place and pay for orders.

MasterCard’s Singaporean lab has built a commerce app for the robot, named Pepper, which will be equipped with a tablet featuring MasterPass acceptance capabilities. In-store diners will be greeted by Pepper, and can pay for their meals by clicking the Pepper icon within the MasterPass wallet or by scanning a QR code on the robot’s tablet.

Pepper will also assist MasterCard customers by offering customized recommendations and deals, providing additional information on products and helping them complete the checkout process.

Shell brings Chase Pay to its gas stations, fueling rewards signups
Shell Oil Company is the latest gas station to employ Chase Pay and bring mobile payments to its pumps, enhancing convenience for customers while promoting mobile rewards signups. Chase customers can now pay for their gas at Shell pumps without having to carry around their credit cards.

The Shell Motorist app has integrated Chase Pay into its payment capabilities, and will allow individuals to save three cents per gallon as a thank-you for using the service.

The collaboration also provides more security at gas stations, as it eliminates hackers’ ability to access credit card information, thanks to ChaseNet, a closed-loop network.

Shopify leads slew of retail partners implementing Apple Pay for Web
Shopify and Moovweb are two of the digital commerce providers planning to bring Apple Pay to hundreds of thousands of retailers’ Web sites in a few months, a move that could boost online sales, due to the technology’s enhanced security.

Brands including IBM and 1800Flowers have already pledged to integrate Apple Pay into their Web channels with the help of these providers. Individuals well-versed in using Apple Pay will now be able to make one-click checkouts when shopping via Safari on Macs, iPhones and iPads.

Merchants that have encountered difficulty with implementing mobile commerce platforms may find more ease in integrating Apple Pay for their Web sites. Shoppers will be able to enjoy the one-click Apple Pay checkout that was previously only available on mobile, without having to peruse products on a small-screen device.

Visa revitalizes wearables with NFC-enabled payment ring for Olympic athletes
Visa is ramping up a resurgence in interest surrounding wearables by introducing a payment ring that allows athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to make purchases by tapping the device against any NFC-compatible terminal.

Wearers will not need to recharge the ring or replace the water-resistant device’s batteries. The financial institution has implemented 4,000 NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminals in Rio and Olympic Village, where Team Visa members will be able to make contactless payments.

The ring uses McLear & Co’s patented NFC Ring design, which includes a secure Gemalto microchip and an embedded NFC-enabled antenna.

Walmart Pay expands as repeat use drives more than 80pc of transactions
Walmart has deployed its mobile payments service in a slew of new states, including Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, with all locations set to receive Walmart Pay by the end of the summer. The retailer has seen positive results come from Walmart Pay, with more than 80 percent of transactions stemming from repeat users.

Many users claim that Walmart Pay offers a convenient checkout experience and an easy-to-use interface, which is a key factor in mobile payment programs.

Consumers can use the service with any credit card or Walmart gift card. To use Walmart Pay in-store, users must open the wallet within the retailer’s app and scan the bar code provided by the register at checkout.

WeChat brings mobile payments to bricks-and-mortar via POS integration
Messaging app WeChat is joining the competitive mobile payments space through a partnership with point-of-sale system provider Givex, allowing merchants’ customers to pay in-store by scanning a QR code appearing in its app.

Retailers equipped with Givex’s Vexilor POS system will not be required to install new equipment, but will be able to accept WeChat payments through existing terminals.

WeChat users can also make mobile payments at restaurants with portable tableside tablets, while bricks-and-mortar retailers will accept payments at existing POS workstations. WeChat will generate a QR Code on users’ smartphones, which can be scanned at Vexilor POS terminals.

Wells Fargo joins mobile wallet bandwagon as bank offerings take off
Wells Fargo is enabling Android users to take advantage of an in-app wallet integration that allows them to make NFC payments from their smartphones, underscoring the rising competition among financial institutions in the payments industry.

The bank’s customers can use the Wells Fargo app to make contactless purchases in bricks-and-mortar stores and conduct ATM transactions without needing to carry a physical debit card. Additionally, mobile wallet users will be able to view relevant account balance details within the Wells Fargo app before and after making a purchase, a handy feature for individuals with strict budgets.

Wells Fargo is aiming to convince consumers to use its platform by monitoring all transactions with its risk and fraud detection systems, offering up an added layer of mobile security.