This award is aimed at those companies that have done the most to deliver an exceptional customer experience through the use of Contactless / NFC technology and those who are bringing the Contactless / NFC experience within the reach of smaller businesses. After all, it is only through wide scale adoption that NFC and contactless technology will be accepted and integrated into the daily routine of a user. These are the finalists that the judges believe had done their upmost to make this happen.
The 2012 finalists for Best Customer Experience are:
- Clinton Cards – Rollout of NFC payment acceptance throughout all stores (UK)
- Garanti Bank – “MONEY” card: the payment and loyalty card for Migros supermarkets (Turkey)
- Openways – NFC room keys for Hotel Chains (Scandinavia)
- LAKS – “Watch2Pay”: contactless payment using a watch (Hungary)
Appearing in at least one high street in every city in the UK is Clinton Cards and their nomination is for their rollout of NFC payment acceptance throughout all their stores (UK)
Clinton Cards will shortly have completed a rollout of NFC to all of their 760 Clintons and Birthdays outlets across the UK. This is a brand new Card Payment solution, which was implemented to replace their ageing system. The system took 8 months to implement from April 2011 and was piloted in December 2011 across several stores in the London area. Rollout was completed within 8 weeks, starting Jan 2012 and finishing end Feb 2012.
All Clinton Cards stores now have the ability to accept NFC payments via card or mobile phone (where available) and they are soon to implement Point-2-Point Encryption along with Tokenisation on top of this solution which will secure all payments from the point of contact (PED) to their data centres.
The new system will benefit Clinton Cards and their customers. Clintons says they firmly believe that NFC payments will enable them to reduce the
queues in their stores greatly within the coming year and this can only be good news for the customer. The benefit to Clintons is clear, says the company, the faster they can process payments the more money they can make. Also there are cost savings to be had with processing card payments via contactless rather than via Chip and Mag swipe. The new system, says Clintons, will also allow the customers to benefit even more once they introduce such things as NFC couponing etc, which will arrive in the future.
Obviously the PEDs will be used constantly for standard card payments, but Clintons are hoping that the Contactless usage is going to become more and more popular as the year progresses. As time of writing their nomination form, Clintons had processed 1400 contactless transactions within the first 2 weeks of their rollout, however this was only on a very small subset of stores, and they had yet to put out the POS material. Clintons say they fully expect this figure to clime dramatically over the next few months as customer awareness of Contactless in Clinton Cards becomes greater.
Over in Turkey, Garanti Bank have been busy with “MONEY” card: the payment and loyalty card for Migros supermarkets (Turkey)
Money Visa is a Gemalto contactless card from Garanti bank that incorporates a standard and bonus loyalty scheme with the partner’s private loyalty scheme (Migros supermarket chain). The Contactless implementation is two-fold. The first part is the identification of the Supermarket chain’s customer in a contactless fashion. Then the payment also is made contactlessly. Prior to this implementation, the customer had a difficult flow at the cash register. They had to present the Money Visa card to the cashier, so that the cash register read the customer loyalty identifier through a contact interface. As the card remained at the POS, there was no motive to use it contactlessly. Regardless of the total amount, the customer entered a PIN for verification.
The customer was also interrupted during the process of basket filling, to enter the offline PIN. Now, the process is much more evolved with the removal of stand-alone contactless readers from the tills. Integrated contactless POS devices enable customers to tap the card only once. Then, as the goods are scanned, the relevant discounts for loyal customers are applied. If the total amount is less than TL35 (£15), then the customer just walks away. If the amount is much higher, the customers enter online PIN for verification and again walk away in seconds. All POS devices are connected through an IP-based network to the bank, which makes contactless online transactions much faster.
The active cards are used once a month in a contactless fashion. This is bound to increase over time as customers get more familiar with the new method. Normally, customers visit supermarkets once a week on average. Garanti Bank envisage growth in contactless usage, especially tied to the loyalty function on the same card.
If you’re in scandinavia and you need a room for the night (and you are a big NFC fan) then talk to Openways. They have a solution for NFC room keys for Hotel Chains (Scandinavia)
At Mobile World Congress 2012, NXP Semiconductors announced that its NFC technology enables a new enhanced version of the popular OpenWays mobile hotel key service. Through its work with NXP, OpenWays can now include NFC technology into their service, enabling hotel chains to provide their guests room keys via their mobile phone. The OpenWays Mobile Key accelerates the check-in process allowing guests to bypass the check-in, receive their room number and use their mobile phone as the hotel room key – resulting in an improved service for the guest.
Following the growing interest in NFC, this solution was built specifically around the technology. The OpenWays door lock utilizes the flexible NXP PN512 NFC transceiver IC and software stack while the OpenWays application is based on NXP’s open source NFC operating stack integration for Symbian, Android and other operating systems.
I’ve often been to ‘watch my step’, I’ve even been told to ‘watch what I say’ – now it looks like I’m being told to Watch2Pay, thanks to LAKS and their “Watch2Pay”: contactless payment using a watch (Hungary)
Payment cards have been around since 1966, with innovations along the way. In 2002 contactless cards were launched generating much excitement from the industry and cardholders. LAKS recognized that although cards were being issued that for real convenience, incorporating the same technology into a watch would take contactless payments to the next level. Since 2002 LAKS has developed state of the art contactless payment watches; the result is the product being presented for the awards – watch2pay. LAKS is contactless approved since 2006 – an early stage for contactless payment schemes. Early adaptors realized by using the watches as a new payment device they can differentiate themselves to competitors. The watches are especially used for events or special marketing activities. The card product issued is credit, debit or prepaid cards.
LAKS saw that contactless had been struggling with customer teaching – with a watch it is easy – it is 100% clear that you cannot swipe it, so the only way to pay is “Tap&Go”. Their watches target the younger age groups. All these projects had been exciting and successful for issuers and especially in attracting younger people. The watch2pay product – a contactless watch, ready to perform whatever contactless transaction is stored on the SIM sized Smart card which is inserted – itself is a sole development of LAKS. The watch has an integrated antenna and is the container for the Smart Card. But of course there is a card manufacturer, plus an issuer involved in a contactless watch project. The card manufacturer takes care of the SIM sized Smart Card production. The issuer takes care of the card program used for the watches and the marketing campaign around the project.
By using the watch as a payment device, customers can differentiate themselves – it’s cool tapping the watch against a contactless reader instead of swiping a card or fumbling for coins. The watches are always complementary to existing cards – each new form factor is a companion device to a standard ID1 card; watches put WOW into payment – the combination of a personal accessory with payment functionality is cool and convenient for the end user.
Contactless payments were used to change the bank’s image. TakarekBank based in Budapest as the biggest saving bank in Hungary had to deal with an image as an old-fashioned bank. Their clients had matured and consequently they found it difficult to get younger customers. TakarekBank prepared a whole marketing campaign including road-shows, social media like Twitter and Facebook, TV campaigns, a special website – all based on the watches. The card product is a debit card. When they started the project around 1.000 contactless readers had been deployed in Budapest and in parallel they started to implement an additional 2.000 readers around the country. Within 8 months their target was to have around 10.000 readers out in the field – some soccer stadiums are equipped with PayPass readers and more were being equipped. LAKS had already developed special “soccer” watches – which are well received by football fans.
TakarekBank managed to change their image of an old fashioned saving bank to an innovative, hip and cool bank within only half a year. Newspapers, magazines and TV stations drew their attention to Takarek and within 6 months they have more than 20.000 members on Facebook, they do competitions and awards and have in the meantime a heavy fan community. During the launch campaign 10.000 watches were launched – but it’s an ongoing business and watches are reordered, as well as new collections being under development.
So these are the finalists for the Best Customer Experience category. Another mixed bag of solutions and applications. After all, where else would a card retailer, a watch maker, a locksmith and a bank compete, other than at the Contactless & Mobile Awards? Make sure you reserve your seat now!