Loyalty cards built into NFC-enabled mobile phones

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 24, 2006

Loyalty cards built into NFC-enabled mobile phones

Nokia, Royal Philips Electronics, Vodafone and the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV) - the regional public transport authority for the Region Frankfurt Rhine-Main in Germany - are to jointly deploy mobile phone-based NFC (near field communications) in Hanau for transport ticketing and retail loyalty applications.

The full-scale deployment of the RFID-based technology (see Using RFID) follows a ten-month field trial, during which the operating companies noted strong consumer acceptance of the use of mobile phones for secure payments and transport ticketing.

Transport ticketing To use the handset to pay for public transport, passengers hold their mobile phone close to the reading device when getting on and off city buses. At the end of the month, they receive an invoice from the local public transport operator outlining all of their trips and the costs for the month (calculated using the best available fares at the time of travel).

Because most people have their mobile phone with them wherever they go, the option to use mobile phones for daily transactions (such as transport ticketing and access to other services) presents new value for consumers.

Loyalty cards In addition to public transport ticketing, a newly introduced local leisure card - the RMV-ErlebnisCard Hanau loyalty card - has also been incorporated into the NFC-enabled phones. This allows mobile phone users to receive discounts at RMV's fourteen selected retail partners in the area (including restaurants, shops and local attractions).

The NFC-enabled Nokia 3220 handsets have been on test with 160 residents for use with the public bus system in Hanau. At the end of the trial, more than 90% of trial participants felt that the technology represented a positive and convenient system that was worth continuing. The system is now open to the city of Hanau's approximately 95,000 residents, as long as they have a compatible handset.

NFC technology The system involves Nokia 3220 mobile phones with integrated NFC technology that can be used as electronic bus tickets, and also act as loyalty cards for discounts at local retail outlets and attractions. The city's Vodafone shops are already offering the NFC-enabled handset for sale.

NFC technology evolved from a combination of contactless identification (RFID) and interconnection technologies. NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimetres. NFC is standardized in ISO 18092, ISO 21481, ECMA (340, 352 and 356) and ETSI TS 102 190. NFC is compatible with Sony's FeliCa card and the broadly established contactless smart card infrastructure based on ISO 14443 A, which is used in Philips' MIFARE technology.

For additional information: ·  Visit RMV at http://www.rmv.de ·  Visit Nokia at http://www.nokia.com ·  Visit Philips at http://www.semiconductors.philips.com ·  Visit Vodafone at http://www.vodafone.com ·  Visit NFC Forum at http://www.nfc-forum.org