Zapa Technology in retail deal with ViVOtech

19 Feb 2010

Irish technology company Zapa Technology has forged a deal with a major Silicon Valley player to deploy retail and payment managed services for near field communications (NFC) across Europe.

Silicon Valley-based ViVOtech, the leading end-to-end enabler of next-generation mobile payments, loyalty and marketing solutions, announced today that Zapa Technology has been selected as ViVOtech’s preferred partner for managed Trusted Service Manager (TSM) services in Europe.

ViVOtech provides NFC mobile payment solutions, mobile marketing and loyalty applications software, over-the-air (OTA) provisioning infrastructure software, NFC smart posters and contactless terminals.

Zapa Technology has already built a significant merchant customer base in Europe, offering managed services for mobile loyalty, coupons and payments using the ViVOplatform and ViVOapps software – enabling retailers to deliver instant rewards and savings to their customers at the time of purchase.

Handsets may carry NFC technology in future

Zapa offers a clear growth path from today’s NFC sticker-based solutions for existing phones through to future handsets with integrated NFC technology as it becomes available in the marketplace.

“We are delighted to enable Zapa Technology with the full suite of ViVOtech’s end-to-end mobile commerce solution, ViVOplatform and ViVOapps, which is helping Zapa to successfully roll out one of Europe’s largest-ever mobile loyalty and payment programs to over 100,000 of its contactless Zapa Tag cardholders,” said Mohammad Khan, president and founder of ViVOtech.

“ViVOtech believes in offering easy-to-use and highly intuitive mobile software solutions for the consumer. Using ViVOtech’s mobile commerce software and patented over-the-air provisioning platform, the Zapa commercial service will enable consumers to download their loyalty or payment card or coupon to their phones when they want it – in just seconds.”

NFC is a short-range, high-frequency, wireless communications technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over some 10 centimetres (four inches) apart. The technology could enable the growth in the market for contactless credit cards and other forms of identification and transaction.

The technology is already in use in two towns in Ireland – Dundalk and Tuam – as well as across 32 Insomnia Cafes around Ireland, not to mention various Londis, Munchies and Eddie Rockets outlets via former Alphyra CEO John Nagle’s firm, Zapa Technology.

Nagle explained: “Zapa Technology has focused on executing commercial NFC programs. Having ViVOtech as a partner has enabled us to leverage a best of breed platform that retailers, banks and MNOs can depend on.

“ViVOtech selecting Zapa as its preferred partner to host TSM services to third parties endorses our strategic focus on execution, building compelling retailer and consumer propositions,” Nagle said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Near field communications is in use in 32 Insomnia Cafes around Ireland. It enables the exchange of data, such as that used in transactions, between devices over some 10 centimetres (four inches) apart

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years