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California Stores Pilot NFC System Providing Electronic Receipts
Proximiant expects its RFID-enabled solution to be used by 1,000 stores by late spring, allowing a retailer's customers to download receipts and discount offers on their mobile phones, thereby eliminating the need for paper receipts and coupons.
For those with NFC-enabled mobile phones, the data is now stored on their phones, and they can simply scroll through the records to view their receipts. For those using the fob, the information is sent to the phone via an SMS connection. In either case, the phone must be powered on to receive receipts.
The consumer can utilize the Proximiant phone app to later retrieve a receipt by entering the store's name or the date, or simply scroll through the receipts listed. To return an item for exchange or refund, the shopper can present the receipt on the phone to the merchant, who can employ a bar-code scanner to read the bar code displayed on the electronic receipt. In the event that the store offers incentives, such as a discount for future purchases at that location, this data is also forwarded to the phone at the time of a transaction, and a user can redeem the discount at the point of sale, by presenting his or her phone to the merchant. The system also works for those who lack a mobile phone, Cheng says. For example, a consumer can still receive the NFC key fob, visit Proximiant's Web site and input the card's six-digit serial number to view an online record of receipts.
Consumers can not use the Proximiant app or card to pay for a purchase—rather, they would pay for goods as they normally would have done without the Proximiant technology, using cash or a credit or debit card. The solution's value, Cheng says, is the elimination of receipts, the creation of a record of purchases (including each item within a single transaction) for finance management by the customer, and a channel through which merchants can extend loyalty programs and discounts. According to Cheng, the key fob can be used at the facilities of any participating merchant, enabling shoppers to employ the same system and app at multiple stores.
The stores piloting the Proximiant solution primarily represent fashion merchants, in addition to restaurants and other types of stores, such as bicycle-repair shops (where a record of tune-ups, for example, could be stored). Cheng says Proximiant is currently in discussions with universities across the United States regarding adopting the system for student use at college stores.
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