Combining loyalty platforms with RFID technology
The contactless payment technology firm ViVOtech has announced the launch of a new software solution that combines RFID technology with retail customer loyalty and pre-paid/gift programmes, presenting consumers with the opportunity to use a single card for both payments and loyalty scheme memberships.
The new software platform uses RFID (radio frequency identification) technology to integrate customer loyalty applications with pre-paid or gift card transactions. Retailers will now be able to offer a self-branded contactless (RFID) card or key fob that will function like a combined prepaid and loyalty card.
Retailer benefits With share of wallet being a key issue for many retailers, the new platform provides the consumer with the option of carrying only one card for their payments and loyalty membership. ViVOtech expects retailers to see a boost in the effectiveness of their loyalty programmes as a result of faster and more convenient payments.
Using the contactless RFID technology, ViVOtech estimates that retailers would be able to replace (on average) 23% of cash transactions by converting them into contactless payments. According to ViVOtech's own research, contactless transactions tend to be 20% larger in purchase size than their cash counterparts (possibly because the amount of cash in a consumer's wallet or purse is usually limited). Consequently, one likely benefit to the retailer of employing contactless payment technology is a greater sales volume over existing cash transactions.
Consumers benefit too With the increasing usage of loyalty and prepaid/gift cards, retailers can also gather consumer purchasing and behavioural data which can be used to target specific consumer groups with personalised promotions and rewards (e.g. instant rewards, cross-selling, special offers and other bonuses). A certain novelty value will also be experienced by consumers who would be using their contactless payment card to earn and/or redeem loyalty points at their favourite retailers.
Technology platform Based upon the Java J2EE software platform, the system is designed to handle multiple databases and operating systems (such as Windows, Linux, Unix, and Solaris), offering scalability and future support for custom applications and advanced promotional and loyalty applications. It is also designed to interface directly with retailer's legacy systems and financial networks using ISO8583 standard electronic messaging and IP (internet protocol) networking.
Customisable options ViVOtech has put much thought and effort into providing functionality not found in most other loyalty and prepaid/gift platforms, such as a web browser-based interface for both users and administrators, along with several built-in formats that allow for automatic point accumulation, reporting, and redemption for the consumer.
ViVOtech provides the RFID cards and fobs, along with personalisation software to enable retailers to issue contactless loyalty and gift/prepaid cards to their customers. Retailers can also opt to use ViVOtech's design services to create customised shapes and forms for the contactless fobs, based on the lifestyle and profile of their customer base.
"The beauty of the ViVOplatform is that it lets existing legacy systems take advantage of contactless functionality on gift and loyalty transactions," commented Mohammad Khan, president and COO for ViVOtech.