Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize and Worldline, which deals with Bancontact in Belgium, have started yet another mobile payment trial.
475,000 "mobile" customers
Worldline and Delhaize have collaborated to introduce mobile payments at Delhaize: "The smartphone and tablet surge has completely changed the shopping experience over the past few years. Whether you pay with your smartphone or your card in the supermarket is the next step in that particular evolution", they say.
According to Wordline, more than 475,000 Belgians currently use mobile payments thanks to the Bancontact/Mister Cash app which was released earlier this year. These people can now also use the same app in one Delhaize store in Brussels.
The principle is still the same: when customers have finished their purchase and everything is scanned, they will get a unique QR code on the screen of the payment terminal. With the Bancontact app, the customer can scan the code, enter his code on his smartphone and confirm the payment.
Willy Walraeve, CEO at Worldline Belgium, believes this method will be easier for customers and will bring the retailer "a step closer to the so-called 'omni-commerce', which joins the physical and online world". If and when other Delhaize branches (like AD, Proxy Delhaize, Red Market or Tom&Co) will follow suit, is not clear.
Close race with Colruyt
Delhaize will have to hurry if they want a scoop, because supermarket chain Colruyt is also working on mobile payments using a competitor (the SEQR system). It also uses QR codes, but with a different app than Bancontact's.
Mobile payments have been possible on the group's web shops since September and the physical stores will follow suit "in the beginning of 2015". McDonald's and a number of Panos stores (and several pharmacies) already use SEQR's mobile payment methods.
Sixdots, a QR code-based "open" mobile payment platform, supported by the three largest telecom companies (Proximus, Mobistar, Base) and the country's biggest banks, launched earlier this month. Mobile payments are on the verge of their (long-awaited) breakthrough, even in Belgium.