Companies in the United States have been busy duking it out to see who can solve the mobile wallet conundrum, but SK Telecom subsidiary SK Planet just threw its hat in the ring with the launch of Slyde, a mobile shopping app that brings together loyalty programs, discounts and touchless payment.
Slyde doesn't do that much different when it comes to any of its singular functions (in fact, it shares even its name with three other apps in the GooglePlay store). It's the elegance and convenience with which it brings everything together that could ultimately set it apart.
The app takes advantage of popular beacon technology to alert shoppers of deals at nearby shops and restaurants, but that's where the customer's interaction with their phone ends. Slyde can recognize when a user has arrived at a given location, automatically pay their bill with the help of DoubleBeam's GoPago POS system, apply coupons to their purchase and add loyalty points without them ever needing to pull out their phone—or wallet or credit card for that matter.
"Our goal with Slyde is simple," explained Kihyun Jung, SK Planet's COO and CPO. "We want to facilitate connections between small businesses and their customers. Slyde is about more than just coupons and deals, it's about deepening the relationship between shoppers and the stores they love. It's about a great overall experience that starts before the customer even enters the store."
As it turns out, breaking down the barriers that come between them and that great store experience is exactly what most shoppers want from mobile payments. The results of a PayPal survey released last week show that, globally, what shoppers want most from mobile payments is the ability to avoid lines and have more choices available to them, on top of leaving their wallet behind.
"Whether it's the pain of the waiting on shopkeepers to take payment, annoyance at having to find and carry cash, frustration with lugging around a wallet, balking at reliance on kiosks or other things standing between people and what they want, the world is ready for (a) faster, safer way to pay and get paid," PayPal said in a statement. In theory, Slyde solves those problems and more.
The convenience to shoppers is obvious, but as Jung points out the process is streamlined for retailers as well, since customers have already demonstrated their willingness to use apps in their favorite stores. As Slyde's popularity grows concerns will surely develop about the security of such a comprehensive app, but a pilot program with a dozen eateries in Berkeley, California that has gone off, so far, without a hitch should put some worried minds at ease.
Slyde is currently available on both iTunes and GooglePlay as SlydeNow.
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