Beacons, or Bluetooth Low Energy transmitters, are seeing a burst in popularity as components of mobile payment systems. The devices, which can be roughly the size and shape of a nightlight, allow retailers to detect a mobile app user's presence in the store. (Image: ShutterStock)
Powa's PowaTag
Powa Technologies is launching PowaTag at 240 merchants including Universal Music and Carrefour. In addition to using Bluetooth Low Energy to detect a shopper's location in a store, the PowaTag system can use the phones' mic and camera to read print or television ads. (Image: Bloomberg News)
Yapital, of Luxembourg, added Bluetooth Low Energy tech to its POSCard product last month. POSCard, which it developed with POSPartner, is a mobile wallet designed to work in settings without mobile network coverage, such as shops located underground. (Image: ShutterStock)
Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Qualcomm
Gilbarco Veeder-Root is using Qualcomm's Gimbal Bluetooth beacons to provide customized offers to motorists as they buy fuel. The initiative builds on Gilbarco's acquisition of Outcast Media, a provider of digital content at service stations. (Image: Bloomberg News)
Mozido is testing Bluetooth Low Energy for person-to-person payments. Rather than require users to be in proximity of a beacon, Mozido's approach allows users to exchange funds when they detect a Bluetooth signal from another user's phone. (Image: ShutterStock)
Index, which provides technology that analyzes customer behavior, plans to support Bluetooth-based beacons to detect a customer's presence and deliver personalized messages on a countertop iPad or on the shopper's mobile phone.
PayPal Beacon
PayPal is positioning its Beacon devices as a key selling point for merchants who want to accept PayPal payments in their stores.
Apple iBeacon
Apple has never been forthcoming with its plans for payments, and iBeacon is no exception. The company's implementation of Bluetooth Low Energy became public when developers discovered it in an early version of the iOS7 operating system. (Image: Bloomberg News)
iMobile3's PassMarket
iMobile3 plans to support iBeacon in its PassMarket mobile loyalty program. When consumers visit a retailer using iBeacon, PassMarket would pick up on that and allow the customer to check out just by walking up to the point of sale.
Shopkick, a mobile rewards company that built its app on technology that uses a smartphone's mic to pick up an ultrasonic signal, is getting on the beacon bandwagon. The company began deploying iBeacons at Macy's locations in New York and San Francisco last year.
Munich-based Wirecard added support for Bluetooth beacons in January. Bucking the beacon branding trend, Wirecard calls its service Bluetooth BLE Smart Payment.
Dash Software uses an iPod instead of a plug-in beacon, but the underlying idea is the same. The iPod sits by a restaurant's register and detects patrons as they walk in. (Pictured: Dash co-founders Gennady Spirin (left) and Jeff McGregor)