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Bluetooth Smart Set to Improve Beacon-based Payment Systems

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

January 29, 2014

Bluetooth Smart Set to Improve Beacon-based Payment Systems

By Rory Lidstone
TMCnet Contributing Writer

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has revealed that its low-energy, intelligent sensor technology, Bluetooth Smart, is the underlying communication component that powers several payment and marketing trials that have been adopted by payment processors and retailers. In particular, Bluetooth Smart powers beacons to facilitate applications such as mobile wallets and coupons, as well as location-based services.

There are beacon-based payment systems on the market that don’t rely on Bluetooth Smart technology, such as Netclearance Systems’ m2BeaconPay solution. This multi-modal beacon system uses low-power Wi-Fi and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) simultaneously. However, while this method can ostensibly match Bluetooth Smart in terms of energy consumption, Bluetooth SIG’s new technology has a couple of advantages that even Wi-Fi and BLE combined can’t match.

First of all, Bluetooth Smart offers an intelligent wireless connection that can authenticate and manage interactions. Seeing as how security is of utmost importance when it comes to financial transactions, this is certainly crucial.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, Bluetooth Smart boasts ubiquitous support from phone manufacturers and mobile operating systems. This includes backing from major players in the mobile and payments industries, including Apple (News - Alert) and PayPal.

“Retail is going to be the first market to really pop using beacons, but that’s just the beginning for Bluetooth Smart powered beacons,” said Suke Jawanda, CMO at Bluetooth SIG, in a statement. “Bluetooth Smart is making scenarios just dreamed about a reality — like driving down a crowded city street and having an available parking spot ping your phone, or your grocery store knowing when you last purchased milk and sending a reminder that you are running low when you’re in the dairy aisle. The foundation of Bluetooth Smart for retail scenarios is going to set the stage for an explosion of beacon technology in the coming years.”

This announcement from the Bluetooth SIG came just in time for this week’s Mobile Payments Conference, a collocated event of ITEXPO (News - Alert) Miami 2014. Mobile Payments Conference runs from January 29 to 30 at the Miami Beach Convention Center and will highlight the many new mobile commerce solutions, like Bluetooth Smart, that are hitting the market or will hit the market in the near-future.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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