After five solid days of NFC payment excitement, the Gemalto 2013 Contactless Challenge has come to a close. Both Josh and Kathy used their $250 available funds to complete their tasks throughout the week and had us on the edge of our seats each day as they each creatively completed their tasks.
When the NFC payment experience was seamless, both Kathy and Josh were surprised at how “straight forward [it was] and [how it] all worked quickly and painlessly.” Josh even made his girlfriend swoon with dinner and flowers from Whole Foods. There were some challenges that weren’t accomplished, however, because contactless payments weren’t offered, or the payments failed at the point of sale, causing frustration to our otherwise upbeat blogger, Kathy. However, with excellent support from a local Isis representative, this resulted in Kathy learning more about her phone’s security and the benefits of contactless payment.
Other highlights included Kathy picking up points with a drive-thru stop, using an ISIS coupon and Josh saying that he’s almost ready to ditch his wallet for a mobile one. Over 200 people from the Whole Foods events in Austin and Salt Lake City were treated to a dessert and demonstration on the Isis Mobile Wallet. Josh touted the ease of transactions and tweeted a picture of an 8-year-old using Josh’s phone at the register. Josh also landed a well-deserved bonus point for getting the store to announce “happy birthday” to a customer over the loud speaker. However, Kathy’s event brought in more people!
Josh and Kathy both spent the entire day using contactless payments, with Kathy buying new shoes @Footlocker and grabbing a treat at Roxberry Juice. Also, at the suggestion of a follower, she shopped @Macys for a heated toilet seat!
So, who is the winner? Although Kathy ended the first day in the lead with nine points, the second day winner was Josh with 15 points (to Kathy’s 14). Kathy then secured the lead for both the third, fourth and fifth days… making her the official winner of the 2013 Austin vs. SLC Contactless Challenge with 197 points! Congratulations, Kathy! Josh wasn’t far behind with 142.5 points. As the winner, Gemalto will donate $500 to Kathy’s charity of choice, Shot@Life. Since Josh did so well, Gemalto has decided to also donate $500 to Josh’s charity of choice to save the tigers.
We’d like to express our thanks to everyone who was involved in the challenge and suggested ideas and offered support to Kathy and Josh along the way. Heartfelt thanks of course go to Kathy and Josh for all their enthusiasm and gusto for the duration of the challenge. We’ve very much enjoyed all their videos, photographs, blogs and tweets, and hope they enjoyed testing Austin’s and Salt Lake City’s NFC readiness for the aspiring mobile payment customer.
I think it’s fair to say we’ve all learnt a great deal about mobile NFC payments over the last five days! And, hats off to the vendors for leading the way with NFC payment!
There’s much to discuss and debate, so if you’ve been following the challenge and want to share your thoughts as well, please do let us know.
How surprised will Kathy’s and Josh’s charities be when they are presented with $500 each? Stay tuned to #GemaltoNFC to find out! @Gemalto, @JustaskGemalto and @Gemalto_NA