Sandwich-shop chain Eat has announced it is to begin testing a loyalty scheme using NFC mobile payments.

The trial will use NFC-enabled tags that are applied to participating customers mobile phones, in the form of a sticker attached to the back of the device, to redeem coupons.

Customers using the high street outlets will be asked to opt in to the scheme and Eat will then issue rewards for returning customers to monitor their reactions as returning customers.

Eat said it aims to launch the trial in a single London store initially before a gradual roll out over the course of the coming weeks across the capital.

Rene Batsford, Eat’s head of IT, said that the ultimate aim was to completely replace the distribution of physical coupons with mobile ones.

“For us, NFC is about driving loyalty through location-based services”, he said, adding that this and further trials would be rolled out more aggressively when NFC-enabled handsets become more widespread.

He continued, “Watch this space, we’re going to be doing a lot more.”

Another retailer, Tesco, is said to be preparing for the NFC revolution by deploying NFC-compatible PoS terminals, beginning within its outlets within the M25.

Chris Brocklesby, CIO at Tesco.com, said: “We’re in an embryonic phase of mobile but the world is going multi-channel. NFC will play a part, it’s just a case of getting the concerned parties together.”

He continued by saying that greater co-operation is required between retailers, the operators and the financial services industry. “Putting NFC terminals in 35,000 checkout lanes in the UK isn’t cheap,” he said.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com