“Convenience in every transaction” is the key to our business. As I wrote last month, everything we do starts with the customer, and is based on providing real convenience.
Take payments. We see them as just a seamless part of the customer experience. And that is where our new NFC concept is such a perfect addition to our portfolio of innovative payment solutions.
Near Field Communication makes payments a breeze: just bring your NFC badge within 4cm of a reader, and you can transfer data – or a payment – simply and efficiently. Our concept turns that into a complete, convenient and cashless payment system.
The easiest way to describe the solution is to imagine a day with your family at an amusement park. You create an account, verify your identity, and then either pre-authorise a certain sum, or arrange for everything to be invoiced after your visit. Everyone in the family then gets an NFC-enabled armband, which can be loaded with a set credit amount. And then you all head out to enjoy the day.
The system lets you set different limits for different members of the family. You could specify how much can be spent on certain activities (no more than five soft drinks, for example), and top up the credit if required. And on top of the payment data, each armband can also carry additional information to make the whole day more seamless: height, photograph, even fingerprints for additional security.
For your family, the system means greater safety, security and convenience: no cash to lose or pass around, while faster payments mean shorter lines and less waiting. If you choose payment after delivery, you don’t even need to have the funds on hand. (And you don’t have to pay up front and then worry about getting your unused credit refunded.)
For the amusement park, the advantages go even further:
- Reduced waiting times improve the customer experience dramatically. And happier customers spend more.
- Paying later enables people to enjoy the event right now rather than going at a later point in time; it also impacts spending of the people, as they can also choose to pay in instalments
- Yep, greater spend per customer. Less friction in the purchase process has been shown to increase spend up to 20% on avverage.
- You can see how long the lines are, and guide customers to another attraction with shorter waiting times.
- Less cash-handling, which means better security and lower staff costs.
- Control of access to VIP and other areas.
- Integration into other systems, including ones managed by your own app.
- Greater interaction with customers, including loyalty programmes and email registration.
Just look at the time factor. An average NFC payment takes 1 seconds, compared with 25 seconds for chip and PIN. Faster transactions make life better for every customer, and all the others waiting behind them in the line.
Any sort of venue where people have to make payments can benefit: nightclubs, music or sports events, stadiums and arenas, cruise ships, resorts… We even tried our NFC payment system at a heavy rock festival in Finland this spring. It was a hit.
At the event, we did a surpvey. Half the participants had to use cash or card payments, while half got an NFC armband connected to a pay-after-delivery facility. All of 23 NFC users said they would choose to use it again, only one of them said he preferred cash over NFC. Some even said the ability to pay afterwards by invoice was the factor that let them go to the festival. All of those who had the armband described it as quick, easy and satisfying. They all gave their email addresses. And they spent on average 20 % more than those using cash or card.
NFC is just one of the ways we are helping offline businesses connect into the digital world. It’s just one of the innovations we will continue to develop in cooperation with key clients, prioritising the features they want in order to give their customers a better experience. It’s all about giving them a real edge, and keeping them ahead of the pack.
– Jan Altersten
Chief Executive Officer, arvato Financial Solutions Nordics