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News in-depth: Swedish retailer launches new mobile loyalty scheme
30 Jan 2012

A Swedish retailer has launched a new loyalty scheme which will allow mobile phone users to accrue points with their devices.

Swedish retail chain ICA is currently trialing the programme at its ICA To Go outlet, an eatery aimed at health conscious diners, in the Kista area of Stockholm, reports NFC World.

The new loyalty scheme, which is built into the ICA To Go app for iPhone and Android phones, allows consumers with near field communication (NFC)-enabled phones to collect and redeem loyalty points at the store. 

Members of the scheme simply swipe their NFC-compatible device at the till whenever they buy lunch at ICA To Go to earn a stamp on their digital loyalty card. Once they have collected six stamps, they will be eligible for one free meal.

Eva Kimborn Heivert, project manager for ICA To Go, revealed that a great deal of planning went into the creation of the scheme in order to ensure it was a success.

"Prior to the opening of Kista, we started thinking about how we could attract the target audience in here. Many of them are very interested in high technology," she told the website.

"Previously, we worked with paper loyalty cards for our loyal customers. At ICA To Go in Kista we saw the opportunity to test the loyalty with tomorrow's technology. Through the app, all users can tell friends or share through Facebook and thus collect more stamps."

NFC technology allows devices to communicate wirelessly with each other over short distances by sending data through radio waves. Consumers without an NFC-enabled phone can still take part in the scheme and similar programmes by purchasing an NFC chip or 'tag' and attaching it to the back of their handset.

"NFC is the future technology that will simplify our customers' lives," Samuel Young, director of digital media at ICA Sweden, told the news provider.

"We are very excited to see how the customer will react to this. Through the test, we can learn more about their behavior and how they accept the new technology."

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