Telstra embraces NFC tech with new assault

Telstra is pushing ahead with near field communications-led marketing activities despite the technology being left off the iPhone 5.

The telco has rolled out point-of-sale and out-of-home NFC touchpoints where customers can recharge their pre-paid accounts, get a Foxtel app or a free trial of its music streaming service Mog. Two months ago, Telstra claimed the world's largest NFC campaign in an effort to promote Mog.

The NFC technology has been supplied through a partnership with Sydney company Tapit, which also works with JCDecaux.

Telstra's flagship Melbourne and Sydney stores, plus its Macquarie Centre, Chatswood, Chadstone and Doncaster outlets, will incorporate NFC technology throughout their retail space. Next month, Telstra will unveil NFC-enabled out-of-home activities in Warringah Mall and Macquarie Centre.

In the lead-up to the launch of the iPhone 5, it was widely expected Apple would introduce NFC to its latest model, which also allows contact-less payments. However, it was left out in favour of Apple's own proprietary Passbook technology. Other smartphone devices including Samsung's Galaxy S3 and Nokia models are NFC-enabled.

Tapit chief executive Jamie Conyngham said: “Telstra is innovative, they are the first major brand in Australia to launch such a comprehensive NFC initiative in retail and outdoor simultaneously. It's all about making it easier for people to get the content or service they want instantly on their mobile phone. Reducing the amount of clicks or keystrokes simplifies the process and has a positive impact on sales and customer loyalty.”

Tapit head of operations Andrew Davis said: “By using Tapit technology, Telstra makes it easier for consumers to interact with and use Telstra services on their mobile. Telstra also gains invaluable data and learnings about consumer behaviour, for example the take-up rate of NFC versus QR and which physical assets and media spend get the most mobile interactions.

“Our last few campaigns show that people go for the simple option (NFC) every time when given the choice. NFC now represents over 25% of all physical mobile interactions.”

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