Near Field Communications (NFC) and Mobile Coupons
NFC has evolved from radio frequency identification (RFID) technology; an NFC chip operates as one part of a wireless link. Once it’s activated by another chip small amounts of data between the two devices can be transferred when near to each other.
NFC chips inside credit cards for contactless payment is a technology now commonly used by shoppers but a more recent NFC development is with a smartphone which could digitise your entire wallet. Google Wallet allows Android users to pay via NFC using a connected account and coupons. Virtually every mobile OS maker feature their own apps that offer unique NFC functionality. Android users have the widest variety to choose from.
In the near future it’s likely that NFC chips could be used to replace every card in your wallet. That means the unique information on your loyalty cards, payment cards, travel tickets, business cards etc… could be contained and transmitted via NFC.
Consumers are using NFC technology more and more as their smartphone becomes their central form of communication:
- 91% of adults keep their smartphone within arms-reach.
- 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action.
- Third of shoppers use their smartphone whilst shopping.
- 64% of shoppers would like to receive targeted coupons to their smartphone whilst shopping.
- 87% of smartphone users scan QR codes to access a coupon, discount or deal.
- Consumers have shown that they are more comfortable with location specific experiences that require access to GPRS.
- Many young and middle-aged consumers use ‘check-in’ features on social media which brands are using as part of consumer incentive schemes.
How mobile coupons work
- A consumer can request a mobile coupon through an online banner advert, short code, loyalty program or can receive a coupon as a special promotion. The coupon will feature a unique code.
- The consumer then visits a store and purchases an item.
- When the consumer pays for the item the cashier scans the barcode or QR code from the consumer’s smartphone, or enters the unique coupon code.
- The coupon is validated during the transaction process. Once approved it can be expired or used later to access additional promotions, dependent on what the brand wants to handle coupon interactions.
- Consumers are likely to share offers and purchases on social media and search online for brand offers. Brands can offer incentives using mobile coupons for online activities such as sharing and ‘check in’