Contactless Challenge Day 7: Airports & cupcakes

The contactless challenge is now entering its final few days, with Ewan MacLeod struggling to find companies willing and capable to accept contactless mobile payments. Ploughing on with continued tenacity, however, he has managed to clock up potentially vital points in his attempt to wrestle the lead back off Jon Choo.

A trip to the Hummingbird Bakery for a (contactless) cupcake saw Jon pick up another five points along with a sugary treat, extending his total to 184.

Despite having to catch a flight from Heathrow Airport on Monday morning, Ewan was determined not to waste any opportunity he could find to notch up further points over the last 24 hours. Stocking up on medicine for his kids, and then successfully paying for his car parking at Westfield shopping center, Ewan received another ten points.

Less successful was another attempt to buy flowers for his wife, this time thwarted by a lack of desirable flowers at Galton Flowers for under £20, which may be why contactless terminals are not installed. After being forced to go contactless when he forgot his wallet, Jon has similarly suggested on his blog that, in the short-term at least, mobile payments may not be ample replacement for your wallet.

If you remember Ewan’s first video of the challenge on the train platform at Ascot, he opined about the old-fashioned nature of the UK’s vending machines, often accepting only coin payment. Unlike in Japan, which houses over five million vending machines, many of which accept contactless payments, unless you have a pocket full of change, it seems you’ll struggle to get that bottle of water.

The nature of vending machines means that they are ideal for quick, simple contactless payments. Ewan has already discovered the impulsive spending that NFC mobile payments can prompt, and there is a potentially huge revenue stream operators could take advantage of if they updated from, in Ewan’s words, “1970s technology.”

Now with Ewan at EIBTM Barcelona, will he be left out of touch with Jon for the rest of the challenge? Time will tell, but on Day 7, the scores see Jon on 184 and Ewan on 147.

The scores so far...

‘Invest’ in a box of treats
Ewan MacLeod
10/10

Jon Choo
10/10

Pick up lunch
Ewan MacLeod
10/10

Jon Choo
10/10

Get ‘a round’ in
Ewan MacLeod
1/20

Jon Choo
20/20

Send Gemalto a postcard
Ewan MacLeod
15/15

Jon Choo
15/15

Go entirely contactless for a day
Ewan MacLeod
50/50

Jon Choo
50/50

Take the boat
Ewan MacLeod
0/20

Jon Choo
20/20

Become a Museum of London expert
Ewan MacLeod
0/15

Jon Choo
15/15

Buy flowers for your partner using NFC
Ewan MacLeod
6/15

Jon Choo
15/15

Social suggestion from one of your followers
Ewan MacLeod
15/15

Jon Choo
10/15

Wildcard
Ewan MacLeod
23/50

Jon Choo
20/50

Pay for a hair cut
Ewan MacLeod
0/20

Jon Choo
1/20

Top up your phone credit
Ewan MacLeod
10/10

Jon Choo
10/10

Watch a film at the cinema
Ewan MacLeod
3/15

Jon Choo
7/15

Buy groceries
Ewan MacLeod
0/15

Jon Choo
15/15

Buy a burrito / wrap
Ewan MacLeod
0/10

Jon Choo
9/10

Buy contactlessly at a drive-thru
Ewan MacLeod
10/10

Jon Choo
0/10

Total Scores:

Ewan MacLeod scores 153 points

Jon Choo scores 227 points


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