News Column

Pay by smartphone at supermarket – soon

May 14, 2014



One product, Gemalto's "My Wallet" application, turned smartphones into a virtual shopping guide inside a physical store.



Using smartphones to pay at UAE supermarkets is just the start: Near Field Communication (NFC) technology wants to augment the physical-world experience of browsing retail stores with a new virtual, digital dimension.







Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, previewed its NFC-enabled "My Wallet" and "Personal Smart Shopper" products at this year's Cards and Payments Middle East trade show, which concluded on Wednesday.







"It is clear that NFC capability will soon be at the fingertips of the vast majority of the adult Middle Eastern population," Mohamed Anis Chemli, telecommunication solutions director for the GCC at Gemalto Middle East, told ?Khaleej Times.







NFC payments at supermarkets is expected to arrive soon. Smartphone penetration in the UAE is high, and mobile-connected devices will quickly become the hub around which modern lifestyles are played out, Chemli said.







"The critical question for Middle Eastern retailers is how best to exploit NFC to create fast, convenient and personalised shopping experiences for millions of consumers. With the upcoming Expo 2020, there is no reason why UAE retailers should not surf on the NFC waves to enhance the shopping experience of their customers." As the UAE moves towards services and solutions aligned with smart governance, its citizens are ready to embrace NFC solutions, he said.







Visitors at the show were given the chance to trial interactive in-store and online mobile purchasing experiences based on NFC technology — and they could, at times, diverge sharply from from traditional methods.







One product, Gemalto's "My Wallet" application, turned smartphones into a virtual shopping guide inside a physical store. Consumers tap their smartphones as they enter a store to check in; they are then able to get extra information on products as they browse shelves. At the checkout, the "wallet" is finally used for payment.







Creating shopping lists, getting personalised deals, viewing available coupons, checking and using loyalty points and scanning products were among the other examples of NFC functionality on display.







abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com




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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)


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