Friday Five: Checkouts that’ll put a smile on your face
Zone’s Rianna Mitchell handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. Checkouts that’ll put a smile on your face
Mastercard pilots a new biometric payment method that allows customers to ‘pay with a smile or wave’ at checkouts.
The credit card leader is confident the technology will ensure a faster and more convenient payment experience, putting the need for contactless cards and mobile phone payments in the shade.
The ‘smile and pay’ system is also vital for the sake of hygiene, the company claim, reducing physical interactions in a post-Covid world.
The technology will be tested in five of the city’s supermarkets before pressing forward with a global launch after the trial period.
2. Every voucher helps
Tesco — the UK’s largest supermarket chain — spur Clubcard holders to take advantage of a combined £17 million worth of unspent Clubcard vouchers set to expire in just under two weeks.
Designed for customers to ‘spend less and get more for their money’, Clubcard vouchers have a two-year lifespan, leaving those issued in May 2020 null and void at the end of the month.
It emerged after a new shake-up to the loyalty scheme, where Tesco plans to drop paper Clubcard statements and vouchers for customers who have not opted-in to receive them. Clubcard members will need to check balances and any forgotten vouchers by logging into their account on the Tesco Clubcard website.
3. The Cryptonite of Gen Z
Crypto and NFTs trading among young people continues to boom, despite the risks.
Gen Z — babies born between the mid-1990s to early 2000s — grew up with the internet, technology, and social media, so it’s no surprise they are keen to jump on the bandwagon.
Their passion for the online world and the volatile and decentralised nature of the crypto space is what has these digital natives hooked — not to mention Gen Z’s hunger for quick fortune.
With little investor protection and the risk of financial loss, there is a concern for young people becoming addicted to the thrill of trading on digital currencies and NFTs.
4. I spy with my little eye…
The UK government introduced a new spy-detecting app to protect the public from potential espionage on online networking sites.
According to MI5, 10,000 UK nationals fell victim to fake social media profiles on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, where spies have enticed people into sharing sensitive information.
The ‘Think Before You Link’ app has been developed with the support of behavioural scientists, prompting users with a series of questions to help them identify suspicious approaches online.
5. WhatsApp level-up its discretion game
Privacy is a priority for WhatsApp, as the multi-platform messaging app makes leaving group chats less awkward.
When a user vacates a WhatsApp group, members will receive a notification informing them of the person’s decision.
WhatsApp is in the process of testing a new update to remove this uncalled-for announcement, flagging your departure to group admins only.
While rollout hasn’t been confirmed, it’s a feature many users will feel relieved by, as they can weasel out of discomforting questions about why they have left.