French retailers try out NFC for loyalty program and ID for home-shopping application

Source: NFC Times

Retailers in Paris have launched a pair of pilots with an NFC option, one for loyalty and the other to identify customers when they pick up purchases after shopping online at home.

Mexican fast food chain Chido recently announced that its first restaurant in Paris will feature a mobile-loyalty program from France-based vendor Airtag. Customers can tap their NFC-enabled smartphones on a tablet with a built-in NFC reader at the register to connect to Chido's loyalty program.

The pilot follows a trial launched in May by Carrefour, at one of the French retail giant’s Carrefour City convenience stores. The application, called “Mon Panier,” lets customers order and pay for their grocery shopping online, including on their mobile phones. Customers then can tap their phones at an NFC-enabled tablet on a Mon Panier kiosk in a Carrefour City outlet in Paris before picking up the groceries–though most identify themselves using a QR code.According to The Association Francaise du Sans Contact Mobile, more than one million NFC-enabled handsets have been sold to date in France, and the figure is expected to rise to 2.5 million handsets by the end of the year.
Nonetheless, adoption by retailers, as well as customers, of NFC has been gradual.

Airtag, which has supplied mobile shopping application platforms or rewards programs for other retailers in France, has provided Chido and Carrefour customers several ways to use the respective programs.
The NFC-ready Airtag reader installed at the Chido restaurant allows customers to tap an NFC phone or the same Navigo transit card the customers use to pay for bus, metro and tram rides in the Paris region, to identify themselves to the mobile-loyalty program to start earning rewards. Most, however, ID themselves with a QR code, either in the application on their phones or on a card, Airtag told NFC Times.

Carrefour allows Mon Panier customers to tap an NFC phone on the Airtag kiosk. But Airtag said that the QR codes sent by text or e-mail after orders are made via mobile phones or online are still the main way that users check in at the kiosk.
Carrefour is expanding the Web-ordering service to a second Carrefour City location soon, according to Airtag. Carrefour's Mon Panier mobile app, aside from offering an NFC ID option and providing online shopping, also has a store locator and provides details of the latest offers and promotions.

On a separate front, Carrefour, the world's second largest retailer, as of last month had rolled out about 25,000 contactless point-of-sale terminals in 4,000 stores in France, including in hypermarkets and supermarkets, and had issued about 2.5 million contactless cards supporting MasterCard PayPass.