Future Of Mobile Tagging: Scan-To-Pay

Future Of Mobile Tagging: Scan-To-Pay

In this extract from PSFK's latest report, we describe how mobile tags can be used to allow for instant transactions and payments.

Nate Graham
  • 12 january 2011

Shoppers can pay for items with the simple scan of a mobile tag. Systems are available that handle significant aspects of the payment process, helping people make swift purchases when they want, where they want.


  • The inclusion of mobile tags on products can give customers the option of making purchases directly from their phone, lowering barriers to transactions and turning any interaction with a product into a point-of-sale opportunity.
  • Enabling customers to scan tags for purchasing can bring a level of exclusivity to their shopping experience, allowing them to skip lines and expedite their store visit.
  • Scan-to-pay services encourage customers to enter their personal details, enabling retailers to gather data about, and better track their purchasing habits.

Supporting Examples for Scan-to-Pay

Scan to Skip the Lines

Select locations of the Ethical Bean Roastery and Ethical Bean Xpress cafés in Vancouver are accepting mobile orders via smartphone. The coffee retailer is using the Mobio payment system, which allows users to scan a mobile tag to place an order. Once scanned, the person can skip the line and pick up their selected beverage at the checkout.

Gumball Machine Payments Triggered by Code

Developers at PayPal Labs have built a prototype system to connect online payment processes to physical purchases. Scanning a QR code links the shopper to a form page to complete the transaction process. Once the process is complete, the gumball machine detects that it has received a payment and dispenses candy.

App Enables Self-Checkout at Retail Stores

Mobile applications like AisleBuyer allow users to complete in-store purchases without the need to pay at the check-out counter. By scanning the barcode found on the back of products, phone users can get related suggestions, reviews, and the ability to complete a transaction within the application. Shoppers can then show their on-screen receipt and leave the store with the product in hand.

Buying Movie Tickets through Online Game Platform

Microsoft’s online gaming system Xbox Live has partnered with to simplify the purchase process for cinema tickets. When gamers watch a trailer a Microsoft Tag appears. Once scanned, it takes users to a transaction page with additional information.

For your free download of this report please visit

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