Samsung Puts NFC Stickers In Coffee Bean In Singapore

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Samsung and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf have placed Samsung-branded NFC stickers in all 51 outlets in Singapore.

Their marketing campaign runs from 8 February to 7 March, and will reward Samsung NFC-device users with an upsized drink for tapping the poster and Liking Coffee Bean’s Facebook page after it pops up. Right now, that means the Galaxy S3 or Note 2 devices, and you still have to Like the page to complete the deal.

I don’t see this one going too far in terms of helping the adoption of NFC stickers or even raising the number of Likes for Coffee Bean here, especially since the promotion only runs for a month. It’s interesting, though, to see NFC continue to be used in different ways by large vendors, although each brand not working with each other to move NFC forward is a huge bump in the road for the technology.

Samsung claims that other NFC-enabled, Mifare-compliant Android phones should be able to work with its TecTile NFC stickers.

The NFC ecosystem in Singapore is one which the government is also enthusiastically backing, with mixed results. The government recently launched its national tap-to-pay system late last year, after years of throwing money at retail outlets to get them to put in contactless payment terminals. (Incidentally, the S3 was the chosen flagship device for the national payment system, and was used to demonstrate the application to the press.) All of this is backed on a national technology standard for contactless payment called Cepas (Contactless e-Purse Application), that was set up in 2009.

Anecdotally, in spite of all the infrastructure built up around NFC payments, take-up hasn’t been great here, because of the many other ways to pay. Most who take public transport already carry a contactless card similar to the London Oyster card or the Hong Kong Octopus card. The EZ-Link card is based on that aforementioned Cepas standard. Furthermore, the iPhone’s lack of NFC capability isn’t helping the contactless situation, either.