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California retailers test NFC digital receipts

Twelve merchants in the Bay Area are taking part in a pilot trial of an NFC digital receipt system that works with a US$50 device and has no transaction charges.

Proximiant's Digital Receipts mobile app

ON SCREEN: Receipts are transferred via NFC, or over the air to non-NFC phones. Click to enlarge.

A dozen merchants in the San Francisco Bay Area have begun piloting an NFC digital receipt and customer loyalty solution developed by Mountain View-based startup Proximiant.

Proximiant’s service uses a USB-connected countertop transceiver that can be attached to any computerised point of sale. The device allows merchants to issue both an itemised digital receipt and personalised rewards straight to a shopper’s NFC phone or to an iPhone or Android mobile equipped with an NFC tag provided by Proximiant.

“We charge US$50 on the transceiver device, which is really low cost comparing to a thermal paper receipt printer, which typically cost $300 and merchants have to keep feeding in receipt paper,” founder and CEO Fang Cheng has told NFC World. “If merchants choose to commit to a one year loyalty service through Proximiant, the upfront device cost will be waived.”

Using the digital receipt service is free, Cheng adds, regardless of volume. “Our loyalty program service is priced with monthly subscription model, and the on-demand marketing platform is priced with pay-by performance model. We separate the pricing for CRM and marketing services from the basic digital receipt service, to give merchants the flexibility to pick the right features that they would like to offer in their stores. The CRM and marketing piece is managed completely through a web-based platform, and the merchants can manage their loyalty program offers and campaigns at anytime anywhere.”

The Proximiant Transceiver

TRANSCEIVER: Countertop NFC device

“Merchants can directly apply for an account with us online and receive the transceiver device in the mail,” Cheng explains. “Going forward, we expect fast retail adoption through both our directly sales approach and strong channel partnership… We see strong demand on the product just from current enquiries coming from our website. It won’t take long before we reach 1,000 stores.”

“Proximiant patent-pending technology uniquely allows retailers to provide tap-and-go receipts and rewards without the overhead investment or customer sign-up step and it’s private for shoppers too, as there is no personal information revealed to the stores in the process,” Cheng added. “It’s a win-win for both retailers and shoppers. It’s also a green product that requires no extra effort, but actually make people’s life easier while going green.”

Going forward, Proximiant is looking into the possibility of integrating its technology into existing POS and payment terminals. But, says Cheng, “we see that our stand alone devices will continue to be the easiest way for retailers to enable mobile reach and go paperless at their point of sale, as our product requires no POS integration and works with any computerised POS.”

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