Another Mobile Pay Field Trial: 53 Percent Success

Mobile payments aren't quite ready for prime time -- at least not in Boston. That's the conclusion of a Boston Globe writer who tested mobile-payment offerings from several local companies -- with limited success.

Writer Scott Kirsner did most of his tests using LoopPay CardCase, a $50 iPhone accessory that lets users load payment and gift cards onto a Bluetooth device with a slide-out "virtual credit card." His success rate, he calculated, was 53 percent.

"You hold the card near any magnetic stripe reader, press a button on the back, and hope," Kirsner wrote. "It purchased some gifts at a Michaels craft store in Cambridge and a tea at one Panera Bread, but it didn’t work at a different Panera, a taco shop, or a Peet's Coffee."

But Kirsner made a second pass through the stores with LoopPay COO Damien Balsan, whose LoopPay device worked at the taco shop where Kirsner's hadn't. However, at a New England frozen yogurt chain called FroyoWorld, it was another story. "Balsan tried three different LoopPay devices to purchase a cup of frozen yogurt," Kirsner wrote. "When none worked, and as the yogurt sat on a scale getting soft, Balsan asked the shop’s co-owner if he could step behind the counter and try a few times from the cashier's side of the register. Still no luck."

Kirsner added, "My impulse at that moment: to take out a five-spot -- not a shabby invention in its own right -- and buy the yogurt."



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.

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