Pay what I want. The story of how and why different brands "play" with offline payment methods

It was 2023 and shoppers were paying for their purchases any way they could: by QR code, by button on the Internet, by NFC on Android phones, Apple/Samsung/Google Pay. But there was no stopping the food tech giants. They were coming up with more and more new ways to pay. Which ones and why? Read on!

Contactless payment by name from Starbucks

In the US, Starbucks is testing contactless payment for customers who order coffee from their car. How does it work? The driver orders a coffee and makes his way to the payment window. He says his name, and the money is automatically deducted from the card linked to his account.
On the Starbucks side, the system tracks the geolocation of customers enrolled in the loyalty program. For example, Max, Alex, Sophie and George within a range of 10 meters. The employee verifies the customer's name. Selects his or her account on the tablet and makes the payment.
This is done to reduce the load on coffee shops in the morning: the customer no longer has to take out his smartphone, and the coffee shop employee no longer has to scan the screen. Consequently, more customers can be served in the same amount of time. It is also a tool to attract users to the loyalty program - without it you can't pay for coffee contactless.

Payment by palm from Amazon

Amazon has been testing its own payment system, known as Amazon One, since 2020. The company recently announced that the system will be available in all 500+ Whole Foods Market stores owned by Amazon in the US by the end of the year 2023.
To use it, you have to register online using your bank card, Amazon account, and cell phone number. Then complete the enrollment process when you first scan your palm over the Amazon One device at a Whole Foods store.
The biometric payment system works as follows: the shopper holds their hand up to the reader. The device identifies a unique palm pattern linked to the shopper's payment card and deducts money from it for purchases.
Amazon recently announced that the reader will also be able to check the age of shoppers to monitor alcohol sales.
Of course, the decision to implement biometric payments wasn't just made in the name of increasing checkout capacity and for the convenience of shoppers. By combining biometric data with payment card and account information, the retailer has created a system that can track customers both online and offline and then offer them personalized ads and recommendations. This in turn will boost Amazon's revenue.

Pay with a smile from Sber and X5 Group

In the spring of 2021, X5 and Sber launched a pilot of payment with biometric identification in the Perekryostok retail chain. Today the service is available in 650 Perekrestok supermarkets and 3,450 Pyatyorochka stores.
To pay using biometrics, activate "face recognition" in the Sberbank Online application, select a payment card and assign a security code.
In the store, go to self-service checkouts - after scanning goods, choose the "Pay with a smile" service and look into the 3D camera. It has high recognition accuracy and depth capture. It reads facial features quickly and easily, taking into account a person's height and changes in appearance. It only takes 1.5 seconds to pay for a purchase without searching for a card or cash.
What's the point of implementing such technology from a business perspective? The same as in the previous examples: queues will become smaller, and personalized offers and bonuses of loyalty programs can be applied automatically, making the shopping experience even more positive.

Payment with jewelry

Tinkoff, together with the Russian brand Artpayments, has launched silver and pearl jewelry for contactless payment with Tinkoff Pay. Now the bank's customers can pay for purchases without a card with the help of stylish jewelry in the form of charms, runners, bracelets and keychains that have an NFC chip embedded in them. Tinkoff card is tied to the device. You can manage the settings of the payment accessory and replenish the balance through the bank's application. To activate the function, you need to contact the assistant when buying jewelry.
However, this is not the only bank that decided to tie the payment system to jewelry to give customers the opportunity to flaunt luxury items and feel their uniqueness.
Payment rings were among the first "wearable" gadgets that allowed their customers to pay for purchases without smartphones or cards. To this day, this option is still available in various banks, and famous people are involved in the design of the products. For example, the popular techno blogger Wylsacom.
As you can see, so far all payments have been reduced to biometrics and wearable devices. All of them primarily create a wow-effect, but it is still difficult to talk about real efficiency for business. Therefore, only large market players can afford to test various options. For small businesses, it is relevant to organize convenient payments online so that the user experience is always positive. Read more in our article "Accepting payments on the website".