Zapped coffee drinkers get their fix from Near Field Comms

1 Oct 2009

Coffee lovers in more than 32 Insomnia stores across Ireland are set to take part in the largest commercial deployment of Near Field Communications, using a chip that stores applications, and unleashing a new chapter in mobile commerce.

Zapa Technology, which is headed by John Nagle, is to deploy the new ZapaTag loyalty scheme in all 32 Insomnia coffee shops nationwide.

“Our link with Insomnia represents a very exciting move for our ZapaTag and for the future of loyalty and bonus schemes in this country,” said Nagle.

“Insomnia’s customers are now assured of receiving all the loyalty bonuses to which they are entitled. We believe the deployment of ZapaTags in all 32 Insomnia coffee shops nationwide represents the largest commercial deployment of Near Field Communications in Europe.

“We believe that as a loyalty scheme, the ZapaTag system is second to none for both the customer and the retailer and we are in discussion with a number of other retailers with a view to deploying ZapaTags in more and more outlets nationwide.”

Initially intended for use in loyalty schemes, the ZapaTag system operates using new Near Field Communications technology. The tag contains a chip that can store many different applications, such as multiple loyalty schemes, club membership, payment facilities and more, all on one tiny tag which the customer attaches to their mobile phone.

There’s no need to carry dozens of loyalty cards anymore and the customer will never miss out on an opportunity to collect rewards or use the loyalty points they’ve earned.

It works by simply fixing the ZapaTag to the mobile phone handset which the customer then registers at and then simply taps at the Zapa reader beside the Insomnia cash register to receive loyalty bonuses and rewards.

The technology has the potential for many more applications, from the ability to redeem loyalty rewards from advertising posters to payment facilities. The ZapaTag also delivers a new level of market intelligence back to the retailer.

ZapaTag is the largest commercial deployment of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology in Europe. NFC is a next-generation contactless technology which is expected to be integrated into all new mobile handsets over the coming years. The same tag can be used in all Insomnia shops nationwide and in other retail outlets in the near future.

“We operate in a very competitive market, and as well as offering the highest-quality products and service, we’ve always been keen to offer our customers great loyalty bonuses to help us maintain an edge over the competition,” said Insomnia Coffee Company CEO Bobby Kerr.

“The ZapaTag appealed to us because it’s so convenient for our customers and gives them much more certainty that they are availing of all their bonuses from Insomnia. It’s already proving extremely popular with over 12,000 of our customers in receipt of ZapaTags since launch,” Kerr added.

By John Kennedy

Photo: The ZapaTag, in part, aims to be certain that customers are availing of all their bonuses from Insomnia coffee shops.

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