Osaifu-Keitai, developed and launched in 2004 by NTT Docomo, uses a similar technology to NFC in terms of enabling consumers to make payments in stores and on public transport via a special chip and a contactless antenna embedded in their mobile phones. Like most of the new add-ons that enable near field communication functionality to be added to existing mobile phones, however, Osaifu-Keitai doesn’t support either peer-to-peer or tag reading capabilities.
NTT’s new Biz Marketing Kazaspot service has been designed to get around the lack of tag reading capability by enabling stores to install powered reader/writer terminals that connect to servers at NTT’s data center. Consumers can then simply wave their mobile wallets over the terminals to download data that enables them to participate in mobile web-based surveys, loyalty programs, gift lotteries and other customer programs.
“The solution enables enterprises to efficiently and effectively attract customers, entice them to visit specific physical stores and build greater customer loyalty,” says NTT. “Individuals’ participation in programs also can provide useful data for the creation of effective target marketing.”
A variety of reader/writer terminals are being made available to suit a variety of situations, including units that can be built into vending machines and digital signage. Costs vary but a Kazaspot system designed for customer surveys costs from 500,000 yen (US$5,478 approx) for the server and 20,000 yen ($219 approx) per reader/writer in volume plus a monthly service charge per unit that begins at 2,000 yen ($22 approx).