VeriFone is planning to test taxi technology that links payments, marketing and special offers delivered to riders.
The payment terminal maker will perform a closed loop marketing program that will link advertising and other content to the rider's trip, and will include a mix of special offers and redemption tracking.
"There is a 'captive' person in the cab, and we know where the cab is, it can be in midtown or uptown," said Vin DAgostino, VeriFones senior vice president of Global Commerce Enablement, who joined the company earlier this year after a stint leading payment strategy at JPMorgan Chase. "We can make an offer in the cab and prove you used it at the retailer that's in the advertisement."
VeriFone did not provide specific cities for the test, though D'Agostino said the test should begin before the end of the year.
"We'll be able to engage the consumers and the local merchants in a specific area," D'Agostino said.
Taxis are a major part of VeriFone's diversification strategy, in which it's using video and its cloud-delivered technology to entice merchants with a mix of payments, business management and marketing.
In the taxi space, VeriFone recently agreed to an app sharing program with Creative Mobile Technologies that will allow riders who have downloaded the mobile payments app of one company to pay using the other company's technology if the cab doesn't use the same app as the rider.
The terminal manufacturer also recently placed its taxi payments technology in Turkey and Mexico. The taxis will use the Way2ride mobile payment app, driver-facing tablets and the VeriFone Digital Network to deliver content.
VeriFone's initial focus for the deployments was payments and ordering, but it's now planning to add marketing and other content. Way2Ride uses Zoosh, VeriFone's sound-based mobile technology, to check passengers into cabs and transmit encrypted payment information. Zoosh communicates through the use of signals that can be picked up by the microphones in consumers' smartphones.
VeriFone has also deployed Way2Ride in New York and Philadelphia, and a white-label hailing and booking service for car fleets in Miami and Washington, D.C. In another technology project, the company is also working on combining its hailing, ordering and payment technologies into a single taxi platform. VeriFone has additionally worked with American Express on a taxi fare reward program.
In other industries such as convenience stores, VeriFone is using video at gas pumps to entice consumers to enter convenience stores, as well as offset the increasing security costs for merchants that also sell gas.
There are about 150,000 convenience stores, and 80% of them sell gas, D'Agostino said, adding the content, which is a mix of ads, offers and 'real time' enticements, is used to lure consumers inside the stores. "These stores make money by selling coffee and chips and soda in the stores," he said. "You want to incent people to come inside."
The key to deliver the video, mobile and other technology is VeriFone's cloud delivery, which the company leverages to easily connect with payment terminals to install updates and content, D'Agostino said. "The cost is more affordable and can help defray the expense of the EMV migration and other upgrades," D'Agostino said.
These use of video and mobile-enabled marketing are a result of clients requesting VeriFone "step up and do more," and that the business is evolving from manufacturing payment accepting device to connecting payments to a larger commerce ecosystem.
"We're not moving away from payments acceptance, we're investing more heavily than ever in payments," DAgostino said. "But there are things that you can do for clients that are about more than just taking payments."