Digital Receipts with NFC Technology
NFC, (Near Field Communication) technology is making its mark in a big way in the point-of-sale industry, particularly when it comes to payments. But Proximiant, a Silicon Valley startup, recently launched a new smartphone app utilizing NFC that focuses on digital receipts rather than payments, building on the concept of digital receipt solutions.
The basis behind NFC is that it allows the users, both the retailer and the consumer, to complete transactions by transmitting secure digital content between a POS system and a smartphone without the need to transfer private information between the two parties. Until now, though, the retailer still had to obtain the consumer’s personal information to transfer digital receipts if they were to go paperless.
With Proximiant’s “tap-and-go” digital receipt solution, consumers simply touch their smartphone to the transceiver connected to the POS system and instantly receive an itemized receipt of their purchase, regardless of type of payment. These digital receipts are then stored for convenient tracking of purchases. Other benefits to the consumer include:
- Loyalty programs
- Store coupons (redeemed right from your phone)
- Organization (no more lost receipts!)
- Refunds and exchanges
- Record keeping
- Deal reminders based on time or location
- Social networking
- Tax solutions
- A greener planet
As for the retailer, Proximiant offers quite a few useful benefits. The transceivers are free and are easily integrated with any POS system, launching within two minutes. Plus, they support numerous marketing efforts and promotions without requiring customers to sign up for anything, enabling retailers to convert casual customers to loyal customers without IT or overhead. Furthermore, retailers can integrate loyalty programs and coupons which can be automatically sent to consumers, based on their location and past purchases.
There are more mobile receipt solution apps available to consumers to organize and store receipts digitally by scanning paper receipts, such as Lemon (click to read article), Receipt Wallet, and Mobile Receipt for iPhone, which all invite consumers to take advantage of a variety of benefits such as:
- Stored images
- Recorded data about the receipt
- Spending reports
- Record keeping
Although these benefits are useful to the consumer, they are still required to obtain a paper receipt, and the benefits to the retailer are limited.
As for the negative side of this tap-and-go mobile receipt solution, Proximiant has currently only integrated the system with a dozen Bay Area retailers as a test run, although they expect to be in multiple metropolitan areas by spring of 2012. Furthermore, NFC-enabled phones are not widely available at this time. But, until they become more prevalent, Proximia has come up with a bridge solution which incorporates tags into the equation. Retailers can offer consumers without NFC-enabled phones tags that can be carried in a wallet or hooked to a key chain which permit consumers to take advantage of the same tap-and-go capability.
“The product is a win-win for both retailers and consumers,” said Proximiant co-founder and CEO Fang Cheng. “Proximiant is the most efficient and secure way for retailers to extend their existing point of sale to an array of mobile loyalty and marketing programs without any IT overhead or customer signup process. For consumers, it makes shopping much more enjoyable and less of a hassle. The device saves companies an overhead investment and it saves customers from the time-consuming and expensive signup process.”