NEW YORK: MasterCard is taking its Priceless campaign to a new digital level with a suite of interactive products and services.

At the forefront of the firm's attempts to move transactions beyond the realms of the functional is the QkR smartphone app. Available on the iPhone and Google Android devices, QkR lets shoppers scan QR codes situated at various points in physical locations such as stores, coffee shops and sports stadiums.

The first step leads to a list of products available at each specific venue, from tickets to films being shown at a certain movie theatre, items on a restaurant's daily menu or a list of beverages on sale in a coffee shop.

Customers can then order and pay for whatever products they desire, which are then delivered to the appropriate location – even if it's a seat at the ballpark on a sunny afternoon.

Earlier this year, in fact, a trial program at New York's Yankee Stadium demonstrated to MasterCard the demand among baseball fans for acquiring hot dogs, pretzels, beer, and other game-day staples via the new technologies. Similar tests are underway in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, and the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia, where guests at the La Premiere movie theatres operated by Hoyts have also been able to experiment with this system.

The QkR MasterCard Labs developed the QkR capability with an eye on making card-facilitated shopping quicker and easier for the consumer. The digital connection makes emotional rewards – the Priceless payoff – significantly broader, as QkR drives the entire purchase process (including payment) not just interactive but also engaging.

"We are, in fact, a technology company that services the financial industry," Adam Broitman, MasterCard Worldwide's vp/senior business leader, global digital marketing, told the 2013 Ad:Tech New York conference. "So it is incumbent upon us to help facilitate the best possible user experiences for our issuers, for our consumers and merchants," he added.

To that end, its developer will not restrict QkR use to MasterCard usage, understanding that a closed ecosystem would only hamper its uptake. Instead, a "wallet" feature in the platform allows customers to store details and complete transactions using cards issued by rival players, including American Express and Visa.

Data sourced from Warc