SAP vending machine shows power of NFC technology

Many organizations are looking for different ways to connect with their customers and provide a more personalized shopping experience. Imagine walking up to a vending machine and finding it stocked with all of your favorite treats. Customers would immediately get drawn in and start looking for those machines.

This is far from being just a marketer's dream, as SAP has created a smart vending machine that allows users to make payments through an NFC link and social profile. Consumers simply tap their smartphone against a receiver on the machine. This actives the machine, which in turn pulls the customer information from the cloud. Funds are taken from a preselected account and the video screen provides information like last purchased items and customized special offers.

Andrew Shriner, SAP's director of technology and innovation marketing, was interviewed in a recent NFC World article about the new machine. He said that aside from the consumer side, businesses are able to gain important information about their customers' lifestyle and preferences.

"Companies can get real-time access to data from machines, predict the optimal assortment for each machine based on analysis of big data, and know when to replenish the machine when stock is low, instead of just sending a truck out once a week like some do today," Shriner said.

NFC is more than just a way to make payments from a mobile device as the technology can be used to transfer more data. It can be a valuable resource and data collecting solution for merchants.

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