We have just reported about Sweden’s leading mobile network operators launching a mobile payments service that utilizes near-field communication technology. Now, it really seems that Sweden is putting another foot forward to support the speedy deployment of NFC, with its leading retail chain, ICA, launching an NFC-based loyalty program.
ICA is applying this new NFC loyalty program at its ICA To Go food store in Kista, Stockholm. ICA To Go is a food service concept that targets health-conscious city residents who want easy, fast, and high-quality meal solutions.
The ICA loyalty card is built into a specially developed ICA To Go iPhone and Android app. This app works on near field communication-enabled phones. Users of iPhones or Android handsets without NFC capability can also take advantage of the loyalty program by simply picking an NFC tag from the store and attaching it to the bank of their phone.
Under the program, ICA To Go customers can receive a “stamp” in their digital loyalty card with every lunch they purchase. This stamp is directly visible in the app. When they have collected six stamps, they are already qualified to get their next lunch for free.
Before coming up with this NFC-based digital loyalty car, ICA worked with paper loyalty rewards card. ICA acknowledges that NFC is the technology of the future and that it will simplify customers’ lives. As such, they have decided to come up with this NFC-based rewards program for loyal customers. ICA has yet to see how consumers will react or respond to this new loyalty system. By testing this new loyalty program, ICA hopes to learn more about customers’ behavior and their ability to accept and adopt it.
ICA relates that through the app, customers can share about the loyalty program through their friends and contacts in Facebook.
All ICA To Go meals are prepared using carefully selected ingredients. ICA To Go currently has three stores in Stockholm.