Silicon Valley startup eliminates paper receipts and helps retailers increase customer loyalty
by Deepak Sharma on Monday, January 16, 2012
Proximiant, a provider of tap and go digital receipts, launched today, introducing a private and secure way for retailers and shoppers to track purchases and earn loyalty rewards, cash rebates and coupons without paper receipts, time-consuming signup requirements or membership cards.
Retailers of any size are now able to provide customers immediate access to a variety of programs using a phone-sized USB interface transceiver from Proximiant. The free transceiver easily plugs into a store’s computerized point-of-sale system (POS) and launches within two minutes.
The transceiver’s built-in technology allows it to communicate directly with mobile phones having a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip. When consumers shop at participating stores, they can tap their NFC-enabled phones on the transceiver devices to directly collect a digital copy of their receipt and loyalty rewards.
Much attention in the NFC space has been on mobile payment applications. Proximiant focuses on enhancing the shopping experience by providing itemized receipts for easy tracking of purchases, loyalty programs and coupons, regardless how they pay.
Until the NFC-enabled phones are widely available, Proximiant is offering a bridge solution via a small tag that can be carried in a wallet or put on a key chain to allow shoppers the same tap-and-go capability.
Customers also serve to benefit from this technology through the secure “Digital Receipts” mobile app, which records all their purchases at the time of sale, so they can manage their personal spending, collect loyalty points, cash back as well as the convenience of not having to carry around paper receipts. In addition, they won’t need to provide stores with any personal information, thereby safeguarding their privacy. All loyalty points and offers can be directly redeemed at participating stores using their mobile phones.
Other benefits for consumers include:
- Rewards, refunds and exchanges without a special loyalty card or paper receipt since images with necessary data and bar codes show up on their app.
- Ability to quickly access old receipts by inputting the store name or product keywords.
- Receipts that remain completely private and secure.
- Access to Proximiant’s Web interface for receipts on their computer when they register their Poximiant account.
- Help the environment go green by no longer using paper receipts.
“The product is a win-win for both retailers and consumers,” said Proximiant co-founder and CEO Fang Cheng. “Proximiant is the most efficient and secure way for retailers to extend their existing point of sale to an array of mobile loyalty and marketing programs without any IT overhead or customer signup process. For consumers, it makes shopping much more enjoyable and less of a hassle. The device saves companies an overhead investment and it saves customers from the time-consuming and expensive signup process.”
Cheng and co-founders Edwin Evans and Thomas Ahn, both Vice Presidents of Engineering, gave Proximiant its name to transmit the message that merchants and customers are now in much closer proximity to one another.
To date, Proximiant has signed up a dozen stores in the San Francisco area and expects the number to increase as it rolls out more trials later this month and throughout December.
“We’ve gone with a small trial launch to ensure everything is running smoothly,” Cheng said. “We expect to have about 50 retailers by year’s end, mostly in the Bay area. By spring of 2012, we envision the device being in multiple metropolitan areas.”
Consumers can download the “Digital Receipts” app in the Apple iTunes Store or Android Market. Here’s a brief video of how Proximiant works.