Location based services such as Foursquare, Google Places, Facebook Check-In and others are becoming more popular every single day. With more than 25 million people checking into locations through their mobile Foursquare apps alone the cellular landscape is becoming an entirely new beast. As we head into 2013 we are sure to see many fun, innovative and unique ways to take advantage of location based services.
Credit Card Processing With NFC
Near-Field Communication is being adopted as a form of payment for an increasing number of retailers, in 2013 more services such as Foursquare and Facebook will begin alerting customers when locations that accept NFC payments are in their local vicinity. We have already begun to see these type of notifications via the Paypal mobile app which can list local retailers that are now accepting Paypal payments.
Foursquare already has a strong relationship with American Express and given the company’s mobile know-how there is a good chance that NFC tech will be added to support its largest advertising partner. Imagine receiving notification of an American Express deal via Foursquare and then heading to an NFC supported store where you pay for the item via your mobile phone. After making the purchase you receive cash back or some other type of bonus because you used your American Express developed NFC payment.
NFC is still in its infancy but the ability to combine a users location with simple mobile payment promises is a great option.
Betters Sales Pitches
Have you noticed the increasing number of times Foursquare tells you about deals in your area? The reason for that increase comes down to data collection. As LBS’ continue to build out user data they will be able to better serve ads directly to a users mobile device. These ads could come from a major player such as Foursquare or they could be offered via independent store apps. For example Starbucks could realize that you like to buy Caramel Macchiato’s and then alert you when you are near a Starbucks when your favorite drink is on sale.
By examining where you shop on a daily basis and then pairing your shopping habits with sales you attended in the past location based services will be able to better target your interests. Throw in NFC payments you made for very specific products and advertising becomes even more targeted to individual users.
Location Based Dating
Remember when you use to head out and meet people at the local bar, while those days seem to be slipping away the use of location based services may actually help users meet face to face without months of talking through Facebook or Skype.
An increasing number of apps are being developed in which single men and women can find one another based on proximity. As users realize someone is just around the corner they can trade information and then use the app to map out the other persons exact location once they are given permission.
Think of location based services as the newest form of speed dating with a mobile twist. Apps could even alert users to people in their area who tend to visit the same places as one another, creating immediate points of interest that the potential daters could talk about if they choose to meet.
Mobile phones are used more today for internet browsing, text messaging and game playing then they are for phone calls and with location based services mobile devices are sure to become the compass for our daily activities and for many users the social aspect of location based services will mean more of a “real life” instead of one stuck behind computer screens.
[Image via iyogi]