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New smartphone app lets you buy movie snacks from your seat

By Shane Moore

Getting your food and drinks at the movies might get a little easier thanks to a smartphone app developed by MasterCard and the Commonwealth Bank in conjunction with Hoyts cinemas.

The new app is called QkR and is being tested at Hoyts' La Premiere theatres. It allows moviegoers to order and pay for food and drinks from their mobile devices without leaving their seats. Cinema employees can then deliver the food directly to the customers.smartphone-payment

How QkR works
The QkR app can be operated from an iPhone or Android device, and can be activated in a number of ways.

Each seat in the cinema features its own quick response (QR) code, which basically looks like a square barcode. By scanning the QR code or manually typing in the code, the QkR app will know exactly which seat you are sitting in and will therefore know where your food should be delivered. Mobile devices featuring a near field communication (NFC) chip can simply be tapped against the QR code area.

Once the QkR app has been launched, moviegoers can browse through the cinema menus and choose the items they would like to purchase. A few taps later, and the order is sent to the cinema staff who will then deliver the items straight to the guest's seat.

Payment for the food and drink is processed by the digital wallet held within the QkR app. Users can register their debit or credit card details with the app the first time they use it.

MasterCard points out that purchases made through the QkR app carry the same level of security as all other MasterCard payment platforms.

Enhancing the experience
The QkR app provides several benefits for moviegoers. Lining up to order food and beverages could become a thing of the past, which is especially attractive if you happen to be running late for the movie. And moviegoers not using the QkR app should also benefit thanks to reduced queues at the food and beverage counters.

"For our La Premiere guests, being able to purchase a meal, dessert or another round of drinks using QkR without missing a second of the movie is a real luxury!" said Delfin Fernandez, Hoyts' chief executive officer, in a statement.

Although QkR is being used only in La Premiere Hoyts cinemas to begin with, Matt Barr, MasterCard Australia's head of market development and innovation, is optimistic about the future of this technology.

"QkR has many possible uses, and this pilot is just one great example of leveraging different technologies in a new way to create an easy and convenient ordering experience," Barr said in a statement.

What are mobile payments?
Mobile payment platforms are growing here in Australia and around the world thanks to the continuing development of smartphones.

By using smartphones, such as the iPhone and Android devices, consumers can make payments from their linked debit or credit card accounts without having to dig through their wallets or purses.

Mobile payments are all about convenience, and with financial heavyweights such as MasterCard and the Commonwealth Bank throwing their weight behind the concept, we are sure to see more of this technology over the coming years.

See related: 10 things you should know about contactless payment systems; Aussie police go contactless



Published: February 21, 2012

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