Austria: Merchants Tap Phones To Activate and Redeem Gift Vouchers
The project, aimed at merchants in the historic center of the northern Austrian town of Wels, embeds RFID chips in paper gift vouchers and enables the merchants to activate and also redeem the 10-euro or 100-euro vouchers by tapping them with NFC phones. Merchants don’t have to worry about carrying valuable coupons in inventory because they are only worth the face value when tapped by a programmed phone as they are sold to customers, say organizers. The merchants get alerts by e-mail when a customer redeems one of their vouchers. Merchants and the city held a nine-month trial starting in March 2008 before continuing the small project in a “rollout.”
The gift-couponing app uses the phone’s reader function and doesn’t require a secure element. The RFID-chip embedded vouchers aren’t cheap, at about 50 cents apiece, but backers say they would pay for themselves in lower cash handling and better tracking and security for merchants compared with strictly paper vouchers.
* Trusted Service Manager: Defined loosely to include companies or other organizations securely distributing, provisioning and managing applications, generally over the air, on secure elements in NFC mobile phones; or licensing their platforms for this purpose.
N/A: Not available or not applicable.