Sydney Hoyts customers will be the first in the world to pilot a mobile payment application developed by MasterCard called QkR which allows them to order food and drinks without leaving their seat.
QkR will be trialled at La Premiere cinemas in Moore Park and Chatswood in Sydney for three months. Customers who own an iPhone or Android handset will be able to use the service by downloading the QkR app to their phone and make purchases by either scanning the QR code, tapping a near field communications (NFC) device against the QR code on the seat or typing in the scan code.
However, there are no plans to widen the trial to BlackBerry or Windows Mobile users.
Hoyts retail, food and beverage director, Matthew Ezra, said the two cinemas were chosen as they were close to its head office and would be easy to monitor.
“We have 12 premium cinemas across Australia so the aim is to roll this out to all those locations. We believe that this brings in cinema dining to the next level,” he said. “Currently, you can order at the bar and it gets delivered to your seat but now you don’t need to miss the movie.”
Ezra added that if the trial is successful in Australia it would be rolled out to Hoyts La Premiere in New Zealand.
The QkR pilot is the latest partnership between MasterCard and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) who recently launched Kaching, a service which allows customers to use their NFC-capable phone to pay at check outs.
In addition to QkR, Hoyts is planning to offer customers who don’t use La Premiere the option of ordering their food online before they arrive at the cinema and is in the process of rolling out what it calls vending cards.
“These cards are for normal cinema goers who want to order food or drink without missing the movie,” he said. “They are linked to a Wi-Fi connection so we’ll bring the vending card in and there are a range of payment methods.”
In August 2010, Hoyts launched Social Tix, a cinema ticket booking app on Facebook that allows users to create events, reserve seats and browse session times through the social networking website.
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick
Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU