Kohl’s debuts branded mobile payment option with in-store research mode

Mobile Commerce Daily – Kohl’s, which was one of the first major retailers to accept Apple Pay, is now jockeying for a spot in consumers’ digital wallets with its own in-house mobile payment option, called Kohl’s Pay.

The mobile payment option will house the company’s popular Kohl’s credit card program, as well as enable contactless mobile checkout at Kohl’s locations. Customers can now make purchases with Kohl’s Charge cards through Kohl’s Pay.

“Several large-scale retailers are opting to introduce their own branded mobile payment services because of the added benefits of having payments connected with their loyalty program and the associated customer information it captures,” said Ryan Grogman, vice president of Boston Retail Partners. “One of the easiest ways to identify customers is in the payment space.

“In exchange for valuable data, merchants can give shoppers a more personal and ‘frictionless’ payment experience.”

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Connected vehicle commerce must prove its functionality to prevail

Mobile Marketer – As vehicle manufacturers compete for innovation leadership in connected cars, commerce is playing a big part, but not all new features are likely to be deemed practical by users.

Toyota, Ford and Honda are among the multitude of manufacturers partnering with commerce companies and software developers to bring payment features to connected vehicles for a broader stance in mobile. While all brands are focusing on creating solutions for vehicle-based retail such as parking and gas, Visa is broadening its capabilities through a Pizza Hut partnership, but some speculate on its necessity.

“Consumers love convenience and the initial reaction of using their car to pay for services may be intriguing,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “However, there are a lot of challenges that may make mass adoption less interesting or attainable.”

“How is this different and better than using apps on mobile devices to accomplish the same objectives, with the exception that drivers will be touching the monitor on the dashboard instead of their phone and is this really that much safer,” he said. “Some challenges with separate connectivity from the auto’s dashboard monitor include, does it require an additional monthly fee for access and internet connection, how long will it take manufacturers to build it into their traditional 5-year production roadmap, will it be more difficult to update systems than for mobile apps?”

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No chips: A slow go for new credit card technology

CNBC – Less than half of American businesses have adopted the credit card chip technology that was all the rage in the fall of 2015.

Only 37 percent of businesses are currently able to accept chip-enabled credit and debit cards, according to a survey by The Strawhecker Group. TSG’s sample included 92 payment service providers that service more than 3.9 million merchants, or about 50 percent of the U.S. card-accepting market.

Chip cards, also known as EMV cards (for Europay, MasterCard and Visa), are touted for safety and improved security over traditional cards. Retailers, credit card companies and merchants were supposed to adopt the new technology by Oct. 1, 2015, or face penalties. Missing the deadline made U.S. card-accepting merchants liable for fraudulent transactions.

Ten percent of retailers are performing EMV-enabled transactions that are working well, and another 12 percent say their EMV-enabled transactions need improvement, according to a report from Boston Retail Partners.

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