MyShout - a social beverage gifting app for good days, bad days and showing your friends you give a sh*t.
Your friend gets in touch with you, he is on his way home and has just had an absolute sh*tter of a day at work. His coworker called in sick, it was pouring down rain, the supervisor was hassling him about projects all day, he lost some super important stuff in the wet, stepped in a massive puddle, and as he hobbles to the bus stop soaking wet, he watches as the bus pulls away and he realizes the next one is an hour away. You can literally picture the raincloud hovering directly overhead as your good friend sits in a devastated heap of exhaustion and moisture.
You live across the country, hours away, with hardly any way to console them in dire times of self-pity. A message is one thing, but you wish you could just buy them a beer or a shot to let them know, "Hey man/dude/bro/pal/mate/cousin, that f**king sucks." and give them a pat on the back.
Enter GIVE's MyShout app
Your buddy receives a message,
"Hey Bro, that sounds like a pretty seriously bad day. Here's one on me - MyShout".
He opens up the app and sees you have just bought him a beer. He goes to the nearest proprietor and asks for a Pint of the thickest stoutiest stout the bartender can tend. He taps his phone on the Credit Card machine and it grins back with a cheesy "Transaction Approved". The bartender snaps a picture of your pal grinning as he sips down the liquid sympathiser, filling him with the warm feeling that sh*t happens, so do bad days, and friends are always there to help you out of a tough spot. You receive the picture and smile, maybe you aren't changing the world but for that one pal, you made it just a tiny bit better.
GIVE's MyShout App is a social beverage gifting service created purely to provide a way for people to interact with and support each other without having to actually be in the same area. The latest in contactless payment technology allows smartphones to act as forms of payment utilising systems similar to the Visa Paywave and Mastercard Paypass 'Tap-it' terminal on Debit/Credit machines. The 'Shouter' establishes a ''Shout Value' within the app and pays with their credit card or digital payment system (PayPal, Google Wallet, etc). They then select the recipient for the Shout which transfers the 'Shout Value' as a credit securely through the MyShout App transaction service. The 'Drinker' then receives a notification stating that they have received a Shout and can redeem it at any nearby proprietor or beverage supplier. A Map of nearby locations shows up with reviews and directions. The 'Drinker' redeems the Shout and pays directly with their phone whereby the 'Shout Value' can be spent to purchase any beverage desired immediately. The MyShout App requests a picture of the beverage or the 'Drinker' enjoying the beverage which will be sent to the 'Shouter' with an option to Share on social networks. Remaining change or credits from the initial 'Shout Value' can be donated to charity, left as a tip, or added to a 'Shout it Forward' storage account for later allocation to other friends.
The target market for MyShout is towards drinkers of alcoholic beverages. Males and females aged (Insert minimum drinking Age for your country here) to 30. The focus is on delivering a pat on the back to be redeemed at a proprietor that sells alcoholic drinks.
Younger generations are more active on social media and more willing to try newer technologies. The scope of this target market is limited though as appealing to alcoholic beverages too much may deter non-drinkers.
The question lingers, could they buy food? The technology would not necessarily have a way of distinguishing between a drink or food purchase but therein lies an opportunity for people to use the app for unintended means of money transfer or otherwise. However it has been suggested to put a "cap" on the amount available to restrict significant amounts of money which don't adhere to the purpose of the app.
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Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST)
MST is a newer form of technology that works on all existing credit card terminals. This was created specifically by a company called Loop and It currently utilises a 'fob' or separate smartphone attachment that you hold in front of the swipe section of any credit/debit card terminal. Prior to using, you have to use the App to load your card details onto your phone. Once loaded, you select a card and hold directly in front of the magnetic strip slot of any terminal. The special fob or smartphone attachment tricks the terminal into thinking that a card has been swiped using the magnetic receiver in the terminal. As far as the terminal is concerned, a card was just swiped. The huge benefit of this technology is that any existing credit card terminal will allow its use, whereas NFC payments require special outfitted 'tap-ready' terminals.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC is an official, short-range wireless technology used to transfer data. This is not particularly new but advances in networking technology, bluetooth, wifi, and the integration from more and more products has meant that it is increasingly useful and is a key component in the push for the Internet of Things. In short, as related to this concept, NFC is a way to transfer payment data to the Point of Sale (POS) systems used in all retail outlets, and pretty much anywhere that money is exchanged for products, services, etc. NFC in smartphones allows you to preload payment data (Credit Cards, Debit cards, Digital Wallets) into the system, then use the NFC transmitter to send that payment info to the POS which then transfers the money over and completes the transaction just like swiping a credit card would. It is a digital transaction.
Host-based Card Emulation (HCE) and Secure Element (SE)
HCE is one of 2 methods used with NFC to make payments at any Point of Sale (POS) aka credit card terminal. HCE was developed recently as an alternative to the Secure Element (SE) method (differences explained here). In layman's terms, HCE lets apps push the payment info directly to to terminal using a third party 'wallet' that handles the encryption. Whereas SE speaks directly to the bank and card provider (ie Visa, Mastercard, etc) using encrypted magic. Apple Pay uses SE and Google Wallet uses HCE. The difference being if you want to use Apple Pay to tap your card, you are restricted by the agreements that Apple has arranged (only certain banks in certain countries) and by the Device you have (currently only iPhone 6). Whereas if you use any other NFC devices using HCE (all Android devices), then you can take advantage of different apps/wallets and the different banks and cards set up to be used in them.
Technology Summary - Too Long;Didn't Read (TL;DR)
You tap the phone and it pays the bill. Apple, Google and other players have different preferences for security and the way they want to allow their customers to use contactless payments. To make this app work on all phones, a variety of bridges will need to be crossed. ie it won't work on the iPhone unless you use additional attachments or if Apple agrees to make a deal....brutal.
Operating System Payment Software
The option is to integrate contactless processing and technology within the app (recreate the wheel), or allow it to integrate using stock payment systems in place on each individual device (hold a LOT of meetings for proper integration). Android uses Google Wallet,. iOS (Apple) uses Apple Pay, and there are many third party options such as PayPal, SoftCard, and most recently Loop available for use on most operating systems.
The TripAdvisor API would allow the app to provide reviews of nearby proprietors/establishments without having to reinvent the wheel. the app would show the person's current location and any bars or restaurants nearby will show up. More advanced options are available (Filters, Price, etc) but the focus for now is connecting the 'Drinker' with the closest place they can redeem their Shout.
Google Maps API
Google Maps API will allow us to integrate optional directions to the nearest proprietor/establishment without the need for the person to have the google maps app. The alternative is to keep it very simple and have a "Directions" button which opens a browser window for Google Maps URL and it simply be a linking thing rather than an embedded/hosted/integrated API deal, but the option is there for advancement.
Social - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
We want to make it as easy as possible for 'Shouters' and 'Drinkers' to share their Shouts from within the app. When taking the photo, the 'Drinker' will be able to optionally share the photo as they send it to the 'Shouter'. Similarly, the 'Shouter' will be able to share the photo that they receive on their social networks. Campaigning will be easier if the sharing is integrated into the App itself (for example adding a link to the app or website or #hashtagging campaigns or key messaging).
Let us know what you think about MyShout in the comments? Would you use the App? Do you have the latest technology for your phone?