In Brixton, South West London, hundreds of businesses will soon integrate iBeacons as part of one of the first real-world networks for mobile payments using Apple’s Bluetooth LE iBeacon tech

In Brixton, businesses introduced a local currency in 2009 that eventually switched from paper into mobile payments by text. Around 250 businesses in the area accept the currency, which is meant to keep the money in the community and support smaller independent local businesses. By the starting of next month, the currency will have its own mobile app called Brixton Pound, and iBeacons will make it easy to automatically prompt users for payments. The Brixton Pound organization teamed up with Dingo for the payment solution and kontakt.io for the iBeacon hardware and integration:

The new mobile app provides a simple interface for using the Brixton Pound, as well as an innovative new Dingo payment solution. Upon stepping inside a business that accepts the Brixton Pound, the app will automatically prepare a shortcut right on the lock screen of the phone. This feature will enable users to pay for everything in a few seconds, with no searching or typing, thanks to the use of iBeacon technology and small bluetooth devices by polish company kontakt.io inside every business.

While payments have always been something Apple imagined since first introducing us to iBeacons, we’ve yet to see many implementations in retail locations. Up until now we’ve mostly seen the tech used for prompting users in proximity with offers, advertisements, product info, or other useful notifications when in a retail or event space. While the new Brixton Pound app limits the payments to the local currency accepted by those 250 businesses in Brixton, it’s easy to see how a similar solution using real money payments could soon arrive in more retailers. Not only could it speed up the checkout process for retailers, it also has the potential to cut down on long retail lines and make the process of paying for goods in-store as easy as online. PayPal and others are already testing similar solutions that use Bluetooth LE and iBeacons for payments.

Earlier this week we told you about some interesting stats on increased app and ad engagement due to iBeacons integration.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.