LevelUp Adds NFC To Payment Terminal Capabilities
If NFC ever does become the primary way mobile payments are made, LevelUp will be ready.
The Boston-based mobile loyalty startup announced today that they’re equipping new merchant terminals with NFC technology, in addition to the QR code scanning abilities already present on such hardware.
NFC has yet to take off in the mobile payments world, so why make the switch? The popular theory is that LevelUp’s preparing for the iPhone 5 – due out next week – which is rumored to come with NFC capabilities.
It’s a plausible scenario, as it puts LevelUp in a pretty comfortable situation. If the new iPhone is equipped with NFC, LevelUp’s ahead of the game. If not, its QR code scanning will continue to work just fine.
Seth Priebatsch, creator of LevelUp’s parent company SCVNGR, denies the upgrade is directly linked to the iPhone’s release date.
“Do I think NFC will be consumer hit in six months? Definitely not,” Priebatsch told Gagaom.com. “But in three to five years? Absolutely,” he said. “But whether we prefer QR code or NFC, I just want users to use what they use.”
The new LevelUp terminals will be given to merchants for free and will undergo a one-month beta test, after which merchants who desire the new technology will get updated hardware. LevelUp currently works with nearly 5,000 merchant locations, including 800 new merchants added in August.
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