A lucky 500 Londoners have started taking part in a trial using Nokia phones to pay for tube journeys. Essentially, the phones use similar technology to the widespread “Oyster card” that many people in London use to pay their underground fares.

Barclaycard is launching a similar card that will pay for tube fares as well as other small cash items, such as newspapers and confectionery. However, the new Nokia phones go one further. They will instantly recognise the location of the person using the payment system.

This will mean they will be able to receive a range of location-based marketing initiatives, such as money-off “vouchers” for a local restaurant. And even though it is a trial, it shows that newer ways of delivering marketing messages are being found on a regular basis, it seems. Location-based marketing has significant potential because you are tapping into a ready market who are on your doorstep.

So, for many businesses, the challenge is to how to turn their existing products and services into something that could be provided via a mobile phone in restricted geographical locations. If you don’t start thinking about this now for your business and planning for the inevitable arrival of such a possibility, then someone else will and your business could lose out.

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