Following the high profile partnership of Starbucks and mobile payment provider Square, US doughnut chain Dunkin' Donuts has launched a mobile payment service of its own.
The app, freely available from Apple's App Store
and Google Play
, lets users get a digital payment card, top up one they already own, and view transactions they've made in the past. Users can top up using major credit cards such as Mastercard, American Express and Visa, along with online payment platform PayPal.
To pay in-restaurant, users simple tap the app. A QR code pops up on screen, which users then show to Dunkin staff to scan. That in turn deducts payment from the digital card automatically.
The app includes a nifty social gifting feature to encourage people to spend more. Through mGift
, integrated into the app, people can send Dunkin' Donut vouchers of a value between $2 and $100 to friends via SMS, email and Facebook Connect.
Other app features include nutritional information, and a map to locate nearby branches. Social is embedded too, with users able to follow the brand on Twitter and Facebook direct from the app.Contagious Insight
Like Square's much-publicised tie-up with Starbucks, the new app from Dunkin' Donuts is part of a bigger trend we've seen, Frictionless Retail, where brands are working harder than ever to make payments easy.
Why? Because a simplified experience is a more pleasant one that should encourage people to come back again. It's a digital-fuelled extension of customer service, a vital part of how brands can better interact with people.
One of the most interesting new features, however, is the inclusion of a social gifting feature. We've seen a few services that let people send money or presents to friends over Facebook, but not so far from a brand. The benefit for Dunkin' Donuts is obvious - driving more sales - but for people it's a way to reinforce social bonding in the digital space. WPP social anthropologist Paul Marsden has identified this as a key way for brands to operate on Facebook - by helping people show friendship with presents.
Lastly the app is a solid example of service design, using the mobile channel to let people easily access details about local branches and nutritional information. This story originally appeared on Contagious Feed. Contagious Feed is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious Feed contact email@example.com