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NCR Promotes RFID Cards to Give Customers the VIP Treatment
The company's Branch Portal system is designed to help banks and retailers improve service by identifying customers as they enter a branch office or store.
Oct 13, 2006—Transaction and data warehousing solutions provider NCR is promoting a system it developed to assist banks and retailers in utilizing radio frequency identification to improve service and cater to VIP clients as they pass through a building's doors.
Although other RFID vendors have tested systems that would immediately allow a bank or retailer to identify a customer entering a branch office or store by reading the RFID tag embedded in a card carried on that person, privacy concerns have kept such solutions from achieving commercial release. In a recent article published in RFID Journal, Mark Greene, vice president of strategy for IBM's financial services division, said his company had been involved in pilot programs for RFID-enabled bank cards at three banks in the United States and Europe, but that there are no plans for wider implementation because the banks were concerned about ensuring customer privacy (see Cashing In on RFID's Benefits).
RFID-enabled cards offer consumers the convenience of letting bank or store employees identify them upon entrance. For example, since a store's RFID system would recognize consumers who shop there often, details such as the sizes they wear, or what they most recently purchased, would be available as soon as they entered the store, allowing an employee to cater to their particular tastes more easily. The RFID tag could be embedded in a retail credit card.
At a bank, the system would provide a teller with a client's account information even before that person reached the teller's window. Bank staff could then offer promotional services specific to the way each client has done business with the bank. For example, if a particular client had taken out a home-equity loan in previous years, the teller might choose to offer a special rate on another loan. On the other hand, if this person recently refinanced a mortgage, the bank would not bother providing promotional offers for similar options.
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