Narian Technologies Plans Pilots with Pair of Retail Chains

U.S.-based NFC application developer Narian Technologies said it plans to launch pilots with a large department store chain and large supermarket chain by the first quarter of 2012.

Narian said the organizer of a major film festival also plans to use some of the company’s suite of applications next year.

Narian CEO Einar Rosenberg declined to name the festival or the chains planning to trial the Narian NFC applications, but he said they would involve actual consumers and could launch before the end of the year.

Rosenberg launched the suite of applications last month, which he says enables retailers to offer NFC services with low start-up costs and with only a relatively low percentage of their customers carrying NFC phones.

The apps enable customers to place orders, summon store employees for assistance, check product availability and use other interactive services after entering the retail establishments. The Narian backend handles the service requests.

The applications are mainly targeted at small merchants, which could start the service for $20 per month, said Rosenberg. They would pay 5 cents for each time a customer taps a tag to place an order or summon an employee. But the first taps come out of the $20, so merchants, in effect, would get the first 400 taps at no additional charge.

Rosenberg said not only small retail chains are also interested. The apps are available first on Android NFC phones.

He said among the tag-reading applications that the chains will trial are apps that enable consumers to tap their NFC phones to page sales associates, keep their place in line and get service as they enter the stores.

Rosenberg, an NFC industry veteran, said the apps are designed to complement the payment transaction, but are not loyalty programs or couponing. Instead they help merchants avoid lost sales.

“The up-sale is coupons–it’s trying to get you to buy more,” Rosenberg said. “The lost sale is the products you could have sold (but didn’t), because somebody walked out of line, because someone got frustrated because they couldn’t find an employee to help them. Not only did they (retailers) lose the sale of that product but they lost the opportunity for employees to promote other products.”

Rosenberg, which founded Narian 10 years ago, said the pilots will demonstrate the technology in a retail setting, and hopes it will help him raise more funding.

“We need to expand to other phone OSs, so we need more developers,” he said. “We need more sales and marketing people, and we need a COO to handle operations since the demand is showing us that our growth is going to expand quickly.” 

 

HEADLINE NEWS

Transport for London to Offer Weekly Fare Capping with Oyster Cards; Move Expected to Drive Even More Riders to Pay as You Go

In a move expected to make Transport for London’s pay-as-you-go model even more dominant and further erode support for season tickets and other period travel passes, the agency today said it will i

Sydney Transit Official: Opal Card Not Going Away, Despite Growth of Contactless

Sydney-based Transport for New South Wales, Australia’s largest transit agency, has no plans to phase out or de-emphasize its closed-loop Opal card, despite strong adoption of contactless open-loop

Dallas Latest City in U.S. to Accept Open-Loop Fare Payments

Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART, has become the latest transit agency in the U.S. to accept contactless open-loop payments, joining just four other U.S. agencies that support the technology, not counting small open-loop pilots happening in California.

While Interest is Growing in Going Cashless in U.S., Few Agencies have Accomplished the Feat So Far

The Greater Dayton RTA, which this month stopped accepting paper passes and tickets, will hit its Nov. 1 deadline to go completely cashless on board its vehicles, an agency representative confirmed to Mobility Payments.

Germany’s Largest Transit Operator Continues with Large Open-Loop Pilot on Buses; No Decision Yet on Rollout

Germany’s largest transit operator, BVG, said its pilot of contactless EMV payments extends to all of its nearly 1,500 buses, and the company has eliminated cash acceptance on board the vehicles, a spokesman confirmed to Mobility Payments. But officials in Berlin have not yet decided whether to make the contactless payments service permanent, he added.

Fairtiq App Sees Rising Usage as Covid-Era Riders Demand More ‘Touchless’ and PAYG Fare Options

Switzerland-based start-up Fairtiq said transactions for its fare-payments technology have more than double since February, as Covid-wary riders continue to seek what they consider to be more hygienic payments methods, as well as more pay-as-you-go options.

‘No Way We were Going to Ask for Half a Billion Dollars…’

Unlike other major transit agencies in the U.S., which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars replacing or upgrading their fare-collection systems, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has taken a different approach.

Apple's Digital Driver’s License Initiative Not Only One Progressing in U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Eight U.S. states will soon allow residents to store a digital version of their driver’s license or state identification card in the Apple Wallet, the tech giant announced, noting that the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, will accept the digital ID at airport security checkpoints and lanes. 

UK Bus Operator Go-Ahead Reports Cash Usage has Plummeted Because of Covid, While Contactless Transactions have Surged

The Go-Ahead Group, one of the big five privately owned public bus operators in the UK, said today it has seen cash usage on board the nearly 3,000 buses it runs in England outside of London fall to 23% of transactions, down from 53% three years ago.

Transit Operator Arriva Launches MaaS App in Netherlands; Hints at Expansion to Other European Countries

Arriva, one of the largest private transit operators in Europe, has launched a mobility-as-a-service app in the Netherlands, using white-label software from Israel-based trip-planning app provider

Cal-ITP: Agencies in California Could Hold ‘Several More’ Open-Loop Fare Payments Pilots

The California Integrated Travel Project, or Cal-ITP, is “on track to have at least several more” open-loop pilots or demonstration projects, a spokeswoman for the program told Mobility Payments.

Exclusive: Australia’s Transport for New South Wales Sees ‘Significant Increase’ in Use of Mobile Wallets by Riders

Mobile wallets now make up more than half of all contactless payments for Transport for New South Wales, Australia’s largest transit agency, the agency confirmed to Mobility Payments.