NFC Digital Wallets – Can This Technology Attract New Customers?

While so-called POS digital wallets, such as Google Wallet, using near field communication (NFC) are still relatively new, it’s another opportunity for businesses to grow their customer base, add value, and differentiate themselves from competitors.

Digital wallets, for now, are largely NFC-enabled Android smartphones or tablets that allow customers to pay using pre-established debit and credit card account information by tapping or bringing their mobile device into close proximity to an NFC device at a check-out station. There’s no need for the customer to pull a card, swipe it, sign the receipt, and the like.

As an example, a dry cleaner the other day indicated that they wanted to attract more and younger customers. This POS capability could combine the payment processing speed of NFC with the marketing potential for promotional offers and loyalty program capture. Similarly, NFC has many other ecommerce and plastic card information storage applications beyond payment processing. A personal medical history could be accessed at a doctor’s office just as readily, for example.

Along with scannable Quick Response Codes (QR), those odd-looking black postage stamp-like images you see in magazines that are used for marketing and advertising, there’s a lot to consider before you decide if these initiatives make sense for your business. Some research on your part will help you decide, if and when, these capabilities are accretive to your sales planning. Websites such as nfc.org, nfc-forum.org, and mashable.com can help you learn more.

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