When the UKs most popular high street baker decided that a mobile payment application is something that it is willing to spend time and effort investing in, we were very pleased indeed. Not only did it mean that our hunch about mobile payments was justified, it meant the climate was warming up sufficiently such that a large chain felt comfortable taking the inevitable step to mobile.
The app has now been live on iOS and Android since February and is about to go through another round of updates and iterations. The basic premise of the app is simple, upload money to your Greggs wallet, and spend your money by scanning the app on the in store readers. Buy Greggs products to earn rewards.
Behind the scenes however, there is significant technical wrangling that goes on. Indeed, it is no mean feat delivering a payment application to thousands of customers in over 1,700 branches across the United Kingdom. There were three agencies involved, Steel who led the design, UX and webservices for the project, Eagle Eye who are the rewards and loyalty specialists and putitout, we built the thing.
Be in no doubt this is a complex piece of kit, sensitive data is being dealt with all the time, addresses, credit card details must all be stored securely, the app must pull data from the servers, rather than store information locally, there are tens of Android devices all of which need QA and testing and still this could be different in the live environment. Then there is the all important data, every customer must register for the app – this provides Greggs with information on who is spending money where and what goods are popular. Information that they can use for targeted marketing.
Importantly iterations and updates are regular and key. As we know every digital product changes according to its users wants and needs. So new is the technology that mobile loyalty and payment are subject to particular scrutiny and change. As improved UX is identified so it needs to be integrated within the app. As banks speed up their payment and deposit processes so the app needs to adapt and deliver better service to its customers. We could go on...
Greggs are one of a few brands (other examples include Starbucks, and Dominoes) who have taken a bold step in the world of mobile payments and as an early adopter we expect to see them leading the way in the sector for some time.
For more reading on the subject see:
Mobile Payments Event