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MoLo Unveils Universal RFID-enabled Loyalty Card

The company envisions its system as a replacement for the multiple retailer loyalty cards and clipped coupons that consumers currently carry to realize savings.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 29, 2009Orlando, Fla., startup company MoLo Rewards is in talks with several retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) providers to launch a new RFID tag system it has developed that would act as a universal loyalty card and rewards program for consumers. By signing up for an RFID tag linked to data stored on a MoLo Rewards server, customers could obtain coupons and savings, as well as acquire loyalty points. The electronic system is designed to help retailers and CPG suppliers sell products by providing paperless coupons that patrons can redeem at contactless point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

The company announced the system last week, and is currently in discussions with dozens of businesses to either pilot or deploy it throughout the United States, says MoLo Rewards' CEO, Robert Sprogis, who founded the company with his father, Peter Sprogis, the firm's chairman. The passive 13.56 MHz high-frequency (HF) RFID tags would be offered either at a store location or via the MoLo Rewards Web site, and companies could upload coupons onto the server. Customers would then receive those coupons and other promotional offers, and tap a tag at the POS terminal to have those discounts applied to their purchase.

Robert Sprogis
The system is initially available in an RFID tag sticker containing an NXP Semiconductors Mifare UL RFID tag that could be attached to the back of a cell phone, Sprogis says. Eventually, he adds, when NFC-enabled phones become commonplace, the tags would no longer be necessary.

For the time being, however, the system works like this: When a consumer signs up for the loyalty card program—either at a store or on the MoLo Rewards Web site—he provides his name, e-mail address, phone number, date of birth and home address, and receives a sticker containing an RFID tag encoded with a unique ID number. That personal data, along with the tag's ID number, is stored on MoLo Rewards' server, and would be inaccessible to retailers or CPG companies, thereby maintaining the user's privacy.

MoLo Rewards would monitor the customer's purchasing behavior, however, and use that information to provide reports to the retailer or CPG supplier, detailing the demographic characteristics (such as age or gender) of the MoLo customers purchasing their products. Customers can access their account either on the Internet or via their cell phone, Sprogis says. If a consumer accumulates sufficient reward points, a gift can then be sent to his or her address.

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