News & Events

Where’s my (your) money? Overcoming mobile payment growing pains

BY: Ronald Herman Oct 9, 2014 ET 10:10AM

Source: QSR

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A popular restaurant chain grabbed headlines earlier this year with the launch of its mobile payments application. It happens to be a chain that I visit on occasion, so I decided to download the app and try paying with my phone on my next visit. Once I downloaded the correct app (this particular chain has more than one app in the app store), I followed the steps to create an account, linked a credit card and loaded the minimum $25.00 in the app – at least I thought I loaded $25.00, but the sliding keypad feature caused me to accidentally load $75.00.  I’ll save the experience of requesting and eventually receiving the $50.00 refund for another time.

Now with the correct amount, $25.00, in my account, I visited the nearest location, ordered a meal and notified the cashier I would be paying with their new mobile app.  I expected to encounter some issues as the technology was new (for this chain.). What I didn’t expect was the front-line employee to be completely unaware of the new payment option and even more disturbing, share her frustration with me as the customer.

By the time the manager was located and informed I was paying with my phone, the process was easy and my purchase completed with just a few taps. From download to first payment, the process was frustrating and anything but convenient. I explored the app further and realized that in addition to the cumbersome load and use process, the only other incentive or value offered was to inform me the featured item of the week contained 940 calories.  Needless to say, I deleted the app that evening.  After multiple phone call attempts to customer service to refund my account balance (could never get an answer on the 24-hour customer service hotline), I now have $20.00 floating in cyberspace.

Mobile payment/loyalty apps have been heralded as the future of retail promising consumers a faster, more convenient and secure checkout experience. The intense competitive pressures have heightened the sense of urgency for restaurant chains to quickly launch a mobile app, and the result is hundreds of standalone apps that are lackluster at best, less convenient than traditional payment methods and are often vulnerable to security breaches and fraudulent activity.

The amount of resources and money required to develop, deploy and maintain a standalone app is a staggering investment for most restaurant operators, and the majority yield very little if any return.  To date, there are literally thousands of mobile apps claiming to have a payment or loyalty component. This number continues to rise, so cutting through the noise and actually reaching the target audience is extremely difficult. Even with success in gaining downloads, research indicates that 95 percent of apps are deleted within the first 30 days. With more than 75 percent of Americans now using a smartphone, the mobile channel is a vital customer touchpoint, but the current standalone strategy is proving ineffective at building brand loyalty or increasing customer acquisition numbers.

An alternative approach, a singular, consolidated mobile platform, is quickly emerging as a preferred strategy both by consumers and merchants alike. The key to success is ensuring the platform is built around customer engagement, combining robust loyalty offerings with mobile payment options. Having the ability to send relevant/tailored promotions, rewarding  users with instant incentives and finally, providing industry-proven security thresholds to protect both the user and restaurant from fraudulent activity are critical components of a successful shared platform. Leveraging a consolidated platform enables operators to focus on what they do best, running restaurants, yet still connect with customers and guests via the mobile channel.

Conclusion

Today’s consumer demands a seamless mobile experience, and failing to meet those expectations can be devastating to a brand. Experts agree mobile-driven loyalty will be critical in garnering consumer adoption of mobile apps. The QSR chain I described above recently announced it had completely re-designed and re-launched its mobile payments app due to the overwhelmingly negative feedback and response it received from its customers. Unfortunately, the chain faces an uphill battle to re-gain the confidence of consumers. Fortunately, the rest of the industry has the unique opportunity to learn from their growing pains, and avoid making the same costly mistakes. At the end of the day I may have lost $20.00, but it cost the QSR chain much more. They missed the opportunity to convert an occasional diner into a loyal customer.

Ronald Herman is CEO and founder of Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile, the maker and provider of ION Rewards and ION Loyalty applications. Herman has more than 25 years of experience (ranging from early-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies) in developing and deploying consumer-facing technology solutions.

Pinnacle Corporation, Sionic Mobile Partner to Launch Beacon Based Mobile Payments and Loyalty Rewards for Fuel Retailers

BY: Business Wire October 08, 2014 10:30 AM EST

Source: Business Wire

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LAS VEGAS 2014 NACS Show–Sionic Mobile, with its channel leading ION mobile commerce platform, and The Pinnacle Corporation (Pinnacle), the leading supplier of automation technology to convenience retail and petroleum industries, today announced during the annual NACS Show the companies will integrate their solutions to launch a robust mobile loyalty and payments platform for fuel retailers. The combined solution is among the first in the industry to leverage Bluetooth beacons inside the store and at pump islands to facilitate cloud-based payments and instant rewards for smartphone consumers.

The Pinnacle-ION solution helps convenience stores (c-stores) eliminate high-cost credit card fees on fuel purchases and encourages repeat business by providing customers instant rewards based on in-store checkout amounts. Using Bluetooth beacons for pump authorizations, customers can quickly and easily pay for fuel with a few taps on their phones. Leveraging fully encrypted and tokenized mobile payments, the process is more secure than traditional card swipe methods, protecting both the user and fuel retailer against fraudulent activity. The beacons are also used to deliver compelling, relevant promotions to customers boosting in-store traffic and driving high margin sales.

“Our priority is to deliver modern tools that automate the broad spectrum of c-store operations,” said Drew Mize, Pinnacle’s chief operating officer. “We continue to evolve our approach to ensure our services and products meet the current demands of fuel retailers and their consumers. We are pleased to partner with Sionic Mobile to integrate Pinnacle’s Palm POS™ platform with their next-generation loyalty program that combines mobile payments and instant rewards in one application, making it easy for operators to deliver an exceptional customer experience, while reducing costly transaction fees. We look forward to working with the team at Sionic Mobile in delivering this proven, innovative tool to our c-store customer base.”

Consumers simply download the ION Rewards app (available in both the App Store and Google Play store), create an account and then use their smartphones to pay for fuel at the pump. Users receive an instant, ten cents per gallon savings on every fuel purchase at any ION-enabled fuel retailer. ION Rewards users also earn one to three percent in rewards on every in-store, non-fuel purchase.

“We are proud to partner with Pinnacle to help convenience stores better connect with nearby consumers, while reducing operating costs,” said Ronald Herman, CEO of Sionic Mobile. “We understand the increasing fees associated with credit and debit transactions, along with decreasing in-store sales are two of the biggest challenges facing c-store operators. ION is the only loyalty application that completely eliminates credit card fees on fuel purchases and rewards customers instantly based upon checkout amounts and payment types.”

About Sionic Mobile

Midtown Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile markets to smartphone consumers and rewards them for every mobile checkout. The mCommerce company utilizes mobile devices and the cloud to connect merchants with nearby, ready-to-spend consumers. The company is the maker and provider of ION — the first, fully digital mobile promotions, gift cards, payments and rewards apps for phones and tablets. Merchants use ION Loyalty® to increase traffic, sales & margins, reduce credit card fees and get good customers back more often. Consumers use ION Rewards® to earn IONs at every checkout, including sending gift cards or IONs to others, then spend them like cash on anything at any time at over 30,000 retail locations nationwide. The free apps support iOS and most Android devices.

About Pinnacle

The Pinnacle Corporation (www.pinncorp.com) is a leader in the automation technology industry focusing on the rapidly evolving convenience store and petroleum industries. Pinnacle delivers products that automate the broad spectrum of convenience store operations and supply chain management of fuel operations. Nationwide, Pinnacle’s products and services are used daily in thousands of convenience outlets to automate and improve their store operations and by fuel marketers to increase their efficiency in the complex management of fuel delivery. For information on any Pinnacle product or service, e-mail sales-info@pinncorp.com, call 1-800-366-1173, or visit the Pinnacle website at www.pinncorp.com.

Contacts

For Sionic Mobile:
Anna Stanley, 678-781-3072
anna@williammills.com
or
For The Pinnacle Corporation:
Heather Smith, 1.800-366.1173, ext. 205

Sionic Launches new Campaign to Highlight the Benefits of ION Rewards

BY: Joe Rizzo September 18, 2014

Source: Mobile Commerce Insider

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Businesses use many different marketing, promotional, loyalty and rewards campaigns to get customers to walk into their doors or visit their website. To this day it is very difficult to get an accurate metric on billboard, print, radio and TV campaigns, which in all actuality it means companies are basically hoping for the best. However, the Internet, social media and big data analytics is making it possible for companies to get accurate results on the effectiveness of any campaign conducted on digital platforms. Sionic Mobile, a mobile commerce leader providing mobile promotions, gift cards, donations, payments and rewards, has launched a new video campaign to inform organizations about the benefits of using mobile loyalty and mobile payments.

The “ION Phenomena” video is about the ION Rewards, an application that provides mobile loyalty and payment solution so consumers can use their smartphones at more than 30,000 retailers around the country. Upon using the applications, customers are rewarded with IONs. The IONs can be used at any of the participating retailers like cash anytime they want because they don’t have expiration dates.

This is an ingenious solution that uses a device the vast majority of Americans have to offer the consumer and merchant a mutually beneficial arrangement without having to cut coupons and launch expensive campaigns.

When customers use the ION Rewards to pay for products and services at participating retail locations such as Lowe’s, GameStop, Papa John’s and many others, they receive up to 3 percent in IONs at every checkout. But the IONs can be used at any of the participating merchant locations, which can’t be said for the old rewards and loyalty campaigns many retailers still use.

To start earning the IONs all you have to do is download the free app, create an account or sign in with your G+ or Facebook accounts, link a payment type and start using it at participating retailers.

“As more players enter this space, it can become overwhelming to consumers. We created the ION Phenomena video as a way to help consumers better understand how mobile payments, specifically mobile loyalty programs, can be much more than simply a convenient payment method,” said Ronald Herman, CEO and founder of Sionic Mobile.

The company has also launched Shop2Give, an e-donation platform that allows not-for-profit organizations an efficient way to raise funds across the country without the expense associated with traditional fund raising efforts. Additionally, Sionic Mobile will donate two percent of mobile checkouts at NO COST to supporters or the not-for-profits, a win-win for everyone.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

“ION Phenomena” Video Makes Media Waves

BY: Sionic Mobile Sep 16, 2014 10:18AM EST

Source: Atlanta CityBizList

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Sionic Mobile releases video providing entertaining, educational overview of mobile loyalty, mobile payments

ATLANTA, Sept. 16, 2014 – Sionic Mobile, a mobile commerce leader providing mobile promotions, gift cards, donations, payments and rewards, today launched “ION Phenomena,”  a two-minute video highlighting the evolution of mobile payments. Sionic Mobile’s ION Rewards® mobile loyalty and payments application enables consumers to pay for purchases with their smartphones at more than 30,000 retailers nationwide. In return, users are instantly rewarded with IONs that spend like cash, never expire and can be used at any participating ION retail location.

“Recent announcements have driven even more consumer interest in mobile payments,” said Ronald Herman, CEO and founder of Sionic Mobile. “As more players enter this space, it can become overwhelming to consumers. We created the ION Phenomena video as a way to help consumers better understand how mobile payments, specifically mobile loyalty programs, can be much more than simply a convenient payment method. In addition to paying with their phones, consumers now have the ability to earn instant rewards and incentives immediately following each purchase, as well as receive tailored offers and promotions. The video provides an overview of the evolution of mobile loyalty apps and insight for consumers to successfully leverage the ION Rewards app as a simple and fast payments and rewards tool.”

ION Rewards users receive up to three percent in IONs at every checkout when paying with the app at more than 30,000 national retail locations ranging from Lowe’s and GameStop to Papa John’s and Spa Week.  Earned IONs may then be spent like cash on anything at any time at any ION merchant location.

“Buy With Google” became available on iOS in June, giving millions of iOS users access to the Google Wallet Instant Buy payment option. Consumers can now use the ION Rewards app to securely pay for purchases with their smartphones, in just two taps. Users are then instantly rewarded with IONs.

Most recently, Sionic Mobile launched Shop2Give, an innovative e-donations platform that disrupts the traditional fundraising model by offering non-profits two seamless ways to receive mobile donations: first, supporters use the ION Rewards app to donate any amount at any time with just two taps; and second, Sionic Mobile donates two percent of mobile checkouts at NO COST to supporters or the non-profits.

About Sionic Mobile

Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile markets to smartphone consumers and rewards them for every mobile checkout.  The mCommerce company utilizes mobile devices and the cloud to connect merchants with nearby, ready-to-spend consumers. The company is the maker and provider of ION — the first, fully digital mobile promotions, gift cards, donations, payments and rewards apps for phones and tablets. Merchants use ION Loyalty® to increase traffic, sales & margins, reduce credit card fees and get good customers back more often.  Consumers use ION Rewards® to earn IONs at every checkout, including sending gift cards or IONs to other ION users, then spend them like cash and donate to non-profits.  The free apps support iOS and most Android devices.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Anna Stanley
678.781.3072

anna@williammills.com

 

MyECheck, Sionic Mobile Sign Agreement for Electronic Check Payments

BY: Business Wire September 03, 2014 08:00 AM EST

Source: Business Wire

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FOLSOM, Calif. & ATLANTA–MyECheck, Inc. (OTC PK: MYEC), the leader in electronic checks for mobile payments, today announced it has signed an agreement with Sionic Mobile to provide electronic check, fraud control and account services. Sionic Mobile, a mobile commerce leader providing mobile promotions, gifts, donations, payments and rewards, is the maker of ION Loyalty® for merchants and ION Rewards® for consumers.

“We are thrilled to partner with Sionic Mobile to provide a comprehensive payment solution for the ION Rewards application,” said Ed Starrs, CEO of MyECheck. “Mobile payments are clearly the future. We are leading the way with smart solutions for e-check payments and the industry’s most advanced security and fraud control technologies.”

ION Loyalty helps merchants reduce or eliminate credit card fees, increase sales and instantly reward repeat customers. ION Rewards gives users one percent in IONs when paying with a linked credit/debit card at checkout, two percent when paying with a linked checking account and three percent when paying with a stored value account. ION Rewards users can earn and spend IONs at more than 30,000 national retail locations ranging from Lowe’s and GameStop to Papa John’s and Spa Week.

“With security and efficiency at the industry forefront, MyECheck enables Sionic Mobile to provide ION Rewards users a simple, effective way to pay with eCheck in the most secure way,” said Bob Burroughs, EVP of Products at Sionic Mobile. “Giving our users more payment options allows us to tailor ION Rewards to fit their mobile spending methods. We have set out to revolutionize the mobile commerce experience by creating value for big or small merchants and consumers alike.”

“Buy With Google” became available on iOS in June, giving millions of iOS users access to the Google Wallet Instant Buy payment option. Consumers can now use the ION Rewards app to securely pay for purchases with their smartphones, in just two taps. Users are then instantly rewarded with IONs. Most recently, Sionic Mobile launched Shop2Give, an innovative e-donations platform that disrupts the traditional fundraising model by offering non-profits two seamless ways to receive mobile donations: first, supporters use the ION Rewards app to donate any amount at any time with just two taps; and second, Sionic Mobile donates two percent of mobile checkouts when supporters shop at more than 30,000 retail locations nationwide at NO COST to supporters or the non-profits.

About MyECheck

MyECheck Inc. is a leading electronic payment technology developer and payment services provider. MyECheck operates under license to US Patent 7,389,913, “Method and Apparatus for Online Check Processing” granted June 2008. This patented payment method is the fastest, most secure and most cost effective method of processing payments in the US, and it works with the most people, businesses and entities. MyECheck provides comprehensive payment solutions for all payment applications including mobile payments and the industry’s most advanced security and fraud control technologies. MyECheck customers include corporations, retailers, governments, payment processors and financial institutions.

About Sionic Mobile

Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile markets to smartphone consumers and rewards them for every mobile checkout. The mCommerce company utilizesmobile devices and the cloud to connect merchants with nearby, ready-to-spend consumers. The company is the maker and provider of ION – the first, fully digital mobile promotions, gift cards, donations, payments and rewards apps for phones and tablets. Merchants use ION Loyalty® to increase traffic, sales & margins, reduce credit card fees and get good customers back more often. Consumers use ION Rewards® to earn IONs at every checkout, including sending gift cards or IONs to other ION users, then spend them like cash and donate to non-profits. The free apps support iOS and most Android devices.

Contacts

Sionic Mobile
Anna Stanley, 678-781-3072
anna@williammills.com

Organ Transplant Researchers Get a Boost from Mobile Payments

BY: JOHN ADAMS AUG 25, 2014 12:01am EST

Source: Payments Source

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The Medical research nonprofit Enduring Hearts got a quick boost from a mobile payments engine that allows consumers to donate while making purchases at a network of retailers.

“Digital donations represent the future of fundraising for nonprofits, and we recognize how critical both the online and mobile channels will be to further driving our fundraising,” said Sean McCall, president of Enduring Hearts, a Marietta, Ga.-based firm that funds research to increase the longevity of organ transplants, with a priority placed on pediatric transplant recipients.

In the first days of the technology’s launch, several Enduring Hearts supporters used it to spend over $1,000 each, McCall said.

Enduring Hearts is using Shop2Give, a nonprofit payment app developed by mobile marketing company Sionic Mobile and Ching, an Atlanta-based technology company that serves nonprofits.

“Mobile is top of mind if it’s in someone’s hand, which makes it a good donation tool,” said Ron Herman, CEO of Sionic Mobile. “Everything can happen with a couple of taps.”

Sionic Mobile, which is also based in Atlanta, provides mobile marketing, gifting, in-app payments and rewards programs. Sionic’s technology supports a number of payment methods, such as cards,Google Wallet, Dwolla and E-Check payments at a network of about 28,000 merchant locations that use Sionic, including Bass Pro Shop, Lowe’s, GameStop, Papa Johns and Staples.

Following each checkout, the app rewards consumers with Sionic’s virtual currency, called IONs. This currency, which is part of Sionic’s rewards program, can be spent at other Sionic merchants or it can be used to make donations to nonprofit organizations.

“It’s a tool for making an instant donation, kind of like that donation box near a point of sale terminal,” Herman said. IONs can also be gifted to other parties.

Both Ching and Sionic Mobile donate an average of 2% to 3% to nonprofits from mobile purchases through Sionic’s retailer network. The funds come from the commissions the retailers pay for the marketing referral, which defrays extra costs for consumers.

“[As a consumer], you pay as you would normally do, there is no extra cost,” said Herman. “For the user it’s pretty seamless.”

Shop2Give, which is free for nonprofit organizations, includes social and marketing tools that nonprofits can leverage to communicate with supporters, provide incentives for repeat donors, and enable direct donations at any time.

Mobile commerce is a more convenient channel than Enduring Hearts’ traditional methods of seeking donations at events or on the Web, McCall said. “Sionic opens up a robust and easy mobile channel where supporters can donate to our cause with ease and convenience.”

Using mobile payment for donations is more about extending sourcing than it is an appeal to usability, said Thad Peterson, a senior analyst at Aite Group.

“Nonprofits are continually seeking new opportunities to drive revenue, so I don’t think that mobile and online fundraising is necessarily the elimination of a pain point, as much as it is an attempt to broaden reach and increase incremental contributions,” he said.

Other nonprofits using Shop2Give include the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities, Camp Sunshine, C.H.O.I.C.E.S for Kids and Smith Center for the Healing Arts.

Mobile payments are becoming a popular way to enable donations. PayPal supports donations through a partnership with Church Office Online, while SCVNGR’s LevelUp got an early boost from its own support of mobile donations. Shopkick, a mobile rewards provider, started out as the charity-focused Causeworld.

Blackbaud has developed a smartphone attachment that is specifically tailored for nonprofit collections at events. And Danal provides its BilltoMobile payment software to the mGive Foundation to accept donations through text messages.

Enduring Hearts adopts Shop2Give to drive mobile donations – Mobile Marketer

BY: Caitlyn Bohannon August 6, 2014

Source: Mobile Marketer

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Nonprofit organization Enduring Hearts has turned to mobile to encourage more online donations through e-donation platform Shop2Give.

Through this collaboration, Enduring Hearts hopes to reach fundraising goals more quickly, maintain better engagements with existing donors, attract new supporters and create broader public awareness given the wide-ranging reach of mobile. While many fundraising campaigns have tested the waters on mobile, such as the American Red Cross’ use of SMS, nonprofits’ efforts to reel in donors must take account of today’s on-the-go consumer.

“During the next 12 months, we expect mobile e-donations to represent 25 percent of total Shop2Give donations while 75 percent remain online,” said Ronald Herman, CEO and founder of Sionic Mobile, Atlanta. “However, we are forecasting supporters to utilize the ‘give’ feature inside the ION Rewards app to donate an average of $15 to $25 directly to Enduring Hearts, especially during events.”

“Over time, we expect mobile and online e-donations to map respectively to mcommerce and ecommerce proportions in the marketplace.”

Mobile giving
The collaborative effort between Enduring Hearts, Shop2Give and Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile aims to reward consumers after every purchase and to fully incorporate mobile into the nonprofit’s capabilities.

When consumers create a Shop2Give account, they can then shop online at Amazon or Macy’s, among others, and Enduring Hearts will automatically receive on average a payment of three percent of the purchase.

Sionic Mobile also donates two percent of every purchase made with the ION Rewards app available at more than 30,000 retail locations in the United States. Enduring Hearts supporters are also able to use this app to contribute any amount at any time.

Enduring Hearts awards operating grants to established members of academic staff at universities, transplant centers and research institutes for research projects in organ transplantation.

Nonprofits on mobile
In July, an executive from Johnson & Johnson at Mobile Commerce Daily’s fifth annual Nonprofit Mobile Day on July 15 announced a number of achievements made by mobile application Donate-A-Photo, including funding more than 20,000 children’s eye exams, the purchase of 4,000 resuscitation devices for newborns and the restoration of 14 public parks.

Having launched in 2013, Donate-A-Photo has extended its presence globally in just one year by offering donations for photo submissions. To keep the program in the foreground, executives continue to drive social promotions and push notifications and have found one-click links to app stores to be the most successful method of mobile-social advertising (see story).

Social services nonprofit El Centro, which serves the Hispanic community in Kansas City, KS, is also betting on the mobile Web to drive donations via a new responsive design site.

With its constituents very active in the mobile space, El Centro knew it needed a way to engage them via their smartphones but was not interested in text-to-give for several reasons. With text-to-give facing limitations from carriers and not supporting nonprofits’ needs to learn more about their mobile users, El Centro chose responsive design so it can serve the same donation experience across screens (see story).

Given other nonprofits’ success on mobile while aiming to increase the number of donations, Enduring Hearts’ strategy is surely targeting the right space.

“A mobile play performs exceptionally well for direct donations during fundraising events, community walks, etc., where supporters have immediate access to a trusted funding tool and are more generously inclined,” Mr. Herman said.

Enduring Hearts Boosts Fundraising Efforts With Shop2Give eDonation Platform

BY: Business Wire August 05, 2014 8:00AM EDT

Source: Business Wire

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ATLANTA–Enduring Hearts today announced it has added an innovative digital e-donation platform, Shop2Give, to further complement and drive its fundraising endeavors.  With Shop2Give and exclusive partner Sionic Mobile, Enduring Hearts may now reach fundraising goals more quickly, better engage existing donors, attract new supporters and create broader public awareness. Enduring Hearts is a national non-profit organization that awards operating grants to established members of academic staff at universities, transplant centers, and research institutes for research projects in organ transplantation.

“Digital donations represent the future of fundraising for non-profits, and we recognize how critical both the online and mobile channels will be to further driving our fundraising efforts,” said Sean McCall, President of Enduring Hearts. “Adding Shop2Give gives our supporters the ability to make contributions to Enduring Hearts directly from their smartphone, or while they are making everyday purchases both online or in thousands of retailers nationwide. We are pleased to give our supporters these new tools to securely and conveniently support our cause.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, five years after a primary heart transplant, the survival rate is 71.5 percent.

The survival rate for repeat heart transplants is 57.8 percent.  Children receiving a heart transplant face a one in four chance of requiring yet another heart transplant within five years. The funding and ongoing research provided by Enduring Hearts are greatly improving these odds.

Consumers interested in supporting Enduring Hearts may http://twitter.com/enduringhearts.

About Shop2Give
Shop2Give is an innovative e-donations platform that disrupts the traditional fundraising model by offering non-profits two seamless ways to receive donations at no additional cost to them or their supporters—through shopping online, or when paying with their smartphones at more than 30,000 retail locations nationwide. Visit http://s2gnow.com.

About Sionic Mobile
Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile markets to smartphone consumers and rewards them for every mobile checkout.  The mCommerce company utilizes mobile devices and the cloud to connect merchants with nearby, ready-to-spend consumers. The company is the maker and provider of ION — the first, fully digital mobile promotions, gift cards, donations, payments and rewards apps for phones and tablets. Merchants use ION Loyalty® to increase traffic, sales & margins, reduce credit card fees and get good customers back more often.  Consumers use ION Rewards® to earn IONs at every checkout then spend them like cash, donate to non-profits, and send e-gift cards, IONs and fuel to other ION users. The free apps support iOS and most Android devices.

iPhone Users Now Get Paid to Pay With Google Wallet

BY: SIONIC MOBILE July 30, 2014

Source: Sionic Mobile

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ATLANTA–Sionic Mobile today announced that its ION Rewards app, the mobile loyalty and payment app that rewards users at every checkout, is one of the first apps in the iTunes AppStore to feature the Google Wallet Instant Buy payment option. ION Rewards iPhone and iPad users can now select the “Buy With Google” button at checkout, pay for purchases, and for a limited introductory period, get paid double IONs (two percent of the purchase amount) for each completed checkout using Google Wallet.

Bob Burroughs, EVP Products for Sionic Mobile, explained, “Buy With Google for iPhones, iPads and other iOS devices is a major milestone for the mobile commerce industry and a big step forward in mobile payments. Not only may Google Wallet users now pay with their iPhones at more than 30,000 retail and restaurant locations and earn IONs, but they can also sign in to ION Rewards using using Sign In with Google. Unlike Starbucks and other rewards apps, IONs never expire and spend like cash on anything at any time at any ION merchant.”

“Buy With Google” became available on iOS in June, giving millions of iOS users access to the Google Wallet Instant Buy payment option. Consumers can now use the ION Rewards app to securely pay for purchases with their phone, in just two taps. Users are then instantly rewarded with IONs. All transactions are secured, monitored for fraud 24/7 and covered by Google Wallet Purchase Protection in the U.S.

About Sionic Mobile
Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile markets to smartphone consumers and rewards them for every mobile checkout.  The mCommerce company utilizes mobile devices and the cloud to connect merchants with nearby, ready-to-spend consumers. The company is the maker and provider of ION — the first, fully digital mobile promotions, gift cards, donations, payments and rewards apps for phones and tablets. Merchants use ION Loyalty® to increase traffic, sales & margins, reduce credit card fees and get good customers back more often.  Consumers use ION Rewards® to earn Ions at every checkout then spend them like cash, send e-gift cards, IONs and fuel to other ION users and donate to favorite non-profits at no extra cost. The free apps support iOS and most Android devices.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACTS
Anna Stanley: 678.781.3072      
Kathryn Farmer 678.781.7208

App overload: mobile payments adding convenience or confusion?

BY: Ron Herman July 24, 2014

Source: Mobile Payments Today

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Mobile payments and digital wallets represent one of the fastest growing segments in today’s market. Entrants into this space face intense competition and an extreme sense of urgency to develop and deploy a solution. Currently, consumers can select from thousands of mobile apps, all promising to simplify and enhance the shopping experience by allowing users to pay for purchases with their smartphones. Convenience is touted as the primary benefit, but with the growing number of retailers making the move to mobile, it is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers to manage and maintain multiple apps.

Despite the myriad of mobile apps available for download, consumer adoption continues to lag.

Too many merchants have narrowly focused on launching a stand-alone mobile platform that meets their business goals and objectives, rather than focusing first and foremost on the consumer experience. This past year, the competition within the mobile payments industry intensified to a new level, resulting in the launch of thousands of stand-alone mobile payments/loyalty apps. This is proving counter-productive as consumer enthusiasm for this emerging technology is quickly being replaced with frustration and disinterest. The current model leaves many consumers in a state of app overload.

The 2013 Mobile Payments Consumer Survey published by McKinsey & Company found that convenience and payment integration are the keys to consumer adoption of mobile payment apps. Consumers expect added value from their mobile apps including monetary savings, improved security, convenience, and loyalty offerings. This simply cannot be achieved through stand-alone applications.

Consumers have indicated they would be more likely to use a singular, consolidated mobile platform that is accepted at multiple merchant locations, where rewards and balances are conveniently managed in one central location, as well as where usage is rewarded instantly with valuable incentives and tailored offers.

As an industry, we are at a crossroads, and the future success of mobile loyalty and payments apps is dependent on our ability to focus on the complete consumer experience. Making the technology available to the general public does not equate to consumer adoption. Tools that were originally designed to add convenience are ultimately creating confusion on both sides of the cash register.

Ronald Herman is CEO and founder of Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile, the maker and provider of ION Rewards and ION Loyalty applications. A serial entrepreneur, Herman has more than 25 years of experience (ranging from early-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies) in developing and deploying consumer-facing technology solutions. For the past 14 years, he has focused exclusively on mobile communications technology including location-based services, mobile marketing and mobile commerce. For more information, visit www.sionicmobile.com.