Some of the fastest-growing mobile phone services in the country let retailers send discount coupons and users send gift certificates for anything from lattes to movie tickets through their handsets.
The merchandise vouchers have a barcode embedded in the message. Users show the coupon on the screen and retailers scan the barcode to apply the discount.
"People can actually receive products from places just by showing their phones," Ryu Mina, a spokeswoman with mobile service provider SK Telecom. She said people may forget their coupons but always carry their cell phones.
SK Telecom rolled out a service a little more than a year ago called a "gifticon" that allows users to send gift vouchers for items such as convenience store merchandise and pizzas via mobile phones. The sender is billed for the cost of the goods.
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