IBM took the banking world by storm last month when it revealed its planned acquisition of Promontory Financial Group. Now, it has unveiled IBM Pay, a perhaps unexpected and yet unsurprising addition to the technology giant's Watson Commerce unit.
The private label mobile payment and point of sale system for merchants allows them to integrate loyalty, engagement and payments within their existing app, giving retailers full control of the end-to-end digital container—under their own brand—to compete more effectively with online merchants.
Watson, IBM's massive artificial intelligence engine, is central to IBM Pay. A video announcement released Monday implies the move is more of a play for loyalty and engagement than convenience, which the consumer-facing Apple, Samsung and Android Pays have been pushing.
IBM touts the offering's insights, tailored offers that can be redeemed with one-click payments, and reduced transaction times and costs through in-app payments.