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Table of Contents

Lead Story

The squeeze in merchant cash advance


Industry Update

The VeriFone, Heartland rift

CIT seeks smooth reorganization

Optimizing online holiday sales

LINC-ed up in Sacramento

Remote debit gets a voice


Research Rundown

Taking top strategies to market

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Clinical trial payments on plastic

Rebate chic

Retailer-centric PM lands AmEx deal


Regulatory reforms loom

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group


Street SmartsSM:
How much do you factor in price?

Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang

Timing is everything

Bob Schoenbauer
Capitol Payment Systems Inc.

Hazards of chargeback monitoring

Ken Musante
Moneris Solutions

Protect your investment through non-competition agreements

Sarah Weston
Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss PC

Scrooge, a lesson in leadership

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC

How to grow your merchant portfolio

Jeffrey I. Shavitz
Charge Card Systems Inc.

Company Profile

LIFT Network

New Products

Assistance with self-assessment

Panoptic Security Inc.

NFC-enabling sticker

Tetherball Tag
ViVOtech Inc., Tetherball LLC


Give props to the POS



Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 23, 2009  •  Issue 09:11:02

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New Products

NFC-enabling sticker

Product: Tetherball Tag

As near field communication (NFC)-enabled cell phones are being rolled out, mobile payments solutions provider ViVOtech Inc. is helping to bring NFC technology to market quicker by making it compatible with existing phones.

The company has partnered with technology providers Tetherball LLC in the United States and ZAPA Technology in Europe to roll out radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled chips that take the form of a sticker and can be affixed to the back of essentially any cell phone to give it NFC capabilities.

The chip-embedded stickers are supplied by Tetherball and ZAPA and are operating on ViVOtech's NFC platform. They are called Tetherball Tags in the United States and ZAPA Tags in Europe.

"[Before now] for a phone to become an [NFC] payment device, it needed to be an NFC phone, which needs to have a contactless device built in," said Mohammad Kahn, founder and President of ViVOtech. "But people are saying, 'I'm not going to wait.' So they're putting this sticker on the back of the phone that enables an existing phone to become a payment device."

Almost any phone-enabled

According to Kahn, the only thing required of a phone to be NFC-enabled is that it has a text messaging platform. The RFID-enabled stickers, coupled with the use of NFC acceptance terminals (of which Kahn said there are about 500,000 in the United States), allow merchants and consumers to do two things. One is to make NFC payments by loading money onto the NFC chips as one would with a prepaid card. The second is to engage in loyalty and marketing programs through the use of short message service (SMS) communication.

Tailored texting

On the marketing side, merchants can send to consumers text messages that are tailored to individual preferences, based on consumers' spending histories.

According to Kahn, because the contactless terminals connect to both NFC converted phones and to ViVOtech's server at the back end of the network, merchants who accept NFC payments can receive information about buyers' spending histories from ViVOtech based on the data called up with shoppers' phone numbers. Using that information, the merchant can advertise to customers' preferences in various ways, including with electronic coupons.

"You sign up for a loyalty program and give your phone number so a merchant can send SMS messages or offers or coupons based on who you are," Kahn said. "To use those coupon offers, all you have to do is tap the cell phone with the sticker on it onto the contactless reader, and the mobile coupon offers basically sit in the back-end server," Kahn said.

The stickers can also be used for loyalty programs in which customers are rewarded automatic loyalty points with each purchase at a given merchant location. "You're not going to leave your loyalty card home anymore," Kahn said. "You're going to have it with you all the time, it will be more accessible and you're going to use it more.

"For acquirers and ISOs, they've been trying to provide these loyalty-based points, and now they can provide all these additional mobile marketing services. And that's going to produce interesting opportunities in mobile payments."

ViVOtech Inc.

Tetherball LLC

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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