Today we came across an interesting Bluetooth technology, developed by a company called Lucova, that allows college students to pay for their meals using a selfie.
Lucova recently partnered with Fresh Ideas Food Management to launch a mobile app called "FreshX" (shown above), which kicked off at Southwestern College in Kansas.
This model works for payments tied to memberships at gyms or cafeterias, but not for general retailers.
"The app securely stores meal cards, loyalty and rewards, and payment details," wrote Pymnts.com (Nov. 5). "It also allows for students to pre-set their payment setting in order to be ready to pay-on-the-go using the selfie technology. It also allows for staff to have quick access to that student’s name, image and profile while going through the food establishment."
This format reminds me of the pay-with-your-palm technology we encountered last week.
It's novel, but it only works for businesses that are tied to memberships and require regular (if not daily) redemption: gyms, office/school cafeterias, parking lots, etc. It wouldn't work for general retailers, because the retailers wouldn't want to run a database to track thousands (millions?) of selfies to enable this convenience.
It could work, though, in a general retail setting if a third-party payment processor were to manage the "selfie/profile database" for retailers. Interestingly, PayPal tried this a couple years ago and it didn't get off the ground.