[Posted by Neil Strother]

Mobile coupons continue to spark interest among marketers and vendors alike. The notion of marrying digital coupons with cell phones is just too powerful, especially in a sluggish economy. The latest moves:

  • JC Penney is testing a new 2D barcode scanning system at its stores in the Houston area
  • HipCricket is introducing a new point-of-sale (POS) system to help simplify the redemption process for retailers and quick-serve restaurants
  •  M-Dot Network is promoting a new POS platform for retailers

These are all positive signs pointing to a healthy future for mobile coupons – which, as I said in an earlier report (available in full to Forrester clients), should be part of a retailer's strategy. But, admittedly, these are interim steps leading to a time when mobile coupons become much more common.

There is work to be done to make the process more efficient – for retailers and consumers alike. The fact we have vendors competing to set standards and incremental rollouts indicates we're still a couple of years away from a time when you can easily turn to your phone to save a few bucks.

What do you think? What's holding back wider deployment and use of mobile coupons? Post a comment below.