The 2011 Contactless Monkey Award Finalists – High Throughput Beverage

Next up, it’s the battle of the beverages (every year I find that funny. For the life of me I can’t imagine why…) So far it seems to come down to coffee. Is there anything else – we don’t think so. It’s the High Throughput Beverage category. So let’s look at the nominees and why they made the final.

First up it’s Prêt à Manger (UK). Prêt creates handmade natural food to take away in 263 stores (25% of those are outside of London). Contactless technology was originally trialed in 7 stores across London, before the company took the decision to rollout the technology across all their stores by April 2009.

Prêt is a high profile brand name that got behind contactless payment right from the start, rolling the technology out across all their sites and is now the largest contactless customer for the acquiring bank.

Prêt tells us that the new technology improves the speed of transaction for the customers and that over 1600 contactless readers have been implemented within their sites. They now perform contactless transactions on a daily basis.

AMT Coffee (UK) is another coffee house that have embraced contactless technology. The UK coffee chain expanding into Europe, focusing on Fair Trade produce and have 57 locations across the UK.

AMT Coffee previously did not accept credit/debit cards and decided to use contactless as an opportunity to introduce card payments, using the new GPRS terminal.  They have all sites now live with contactless and appear to be enthusiastic about the technology and are now looking into ways that they can promote the fact that they accept contactless payments.

All of their outlets are in key commuter locations, being mainly in bus or train stations, so is the ideal scenario where someone needs to grab a coffee quickly before their bus or train leaves. They have set up a Twitter site and received some positive comments: “I’m fed up of the ATM in Oxford station hardly ever working – I’m going cashless.  At least I can buy my coffee with payWave”  “The contactless payments are fab.”

After a 6-location trial AMT Coffee rolled out the contactless units to all of their 57 UK locations. The trial lasted 6-8 weeks and a number of factors were considered: speed of service not suffering, cash in transit, cost per transactions versus cash, usage of cards and the growth of usage and finally, average transaction value. AMT Coffee has shown that they were happy with the results and has implemented targets for the entire business to implement the card facility.

In August 2009, coffee chain Insomnia Coffee became the first group in Europe to launch a contactless loyalty programme using ZAPA Technology‘s Near Field Communication (NFC) solution. This solution enables the deployment of NFC services through the rollout of the ZAPA TAG, a stepping stone solution until such time as NFC enabled phones become widely available and used by consumers.

Insomnia Coffee launched ZAPA’s state of the art loyalty programme using electronic NFC tags and contactless readers in each of their 32 stores nationwide. ZAPA’s end-to-end loyalty solution has provided Insomnia with a more customer centric solution with increased control and flexibility, whilst also delivering high level reporting on sales activity and customer behaviour.

Insomnia initially introduced the ZAPA Tag with the same basic loyalty as was offered with their old card and stamp system, benefiting from the convenience of the tag, increased control and reduced fraud. In 2010, based on analysis from ZAPA’s reporting capabilities, Insomnia took the decision to augment their loyalty offering and introduced product specific points loyalty, E-coupons and Prepayment using the same loyalty platform and ZAPA Tag. Each of the additional features was rolled out in a staggered process whereby the technology was trialled in a number of stores to begin with and then rolled out over a period of days to the rest of the stores with supporting promotional material and staff training.

To support customers on the go ZAPA has launched the ZAPA App for mobiles, enabling customers to check their points balances, available coupons, nearest store etc from anywhere, at anytime of the day. The ZAPA App can be downloaded from the market place free of charge.

So that’s it. Beverages, coffee, and contactless. The winner will be announced on the 14th April at the awards dinner in London. Will you be there?