First Data’s new beacon technology enable touchless check-ins in stores

First Data, a technology provider in the financial services industry, announced the launch of a new beacon technology designed to enhance mobile loyalty for local merchants.

Retailers are increasingly turning to customer recognition technology. Currently only three percent of the retailers have implemented this technology, and this number is expected to skyrocket to 72 percent within five years, especially among large retailers.

Beacons will play a major role in the growth of customer recognition technology because of their ability to broker a relevant touchless connection between parties, and the potential to facilitate more engaging in-store and out-of-store shopping experiences, say an analyst at Aite Group.

The new Perka beacon is a small, low-powered device that communicates wirelessly with the Perka app, enabling increased customer engagement and a faster, more personalized retail experience.

Shopping woman with bags talking on the phone“By connecting merchants and consumers in a seamless way at the point of sale, the Perka solution enables even the smallest store to design a customized marketing and loyalty program,” said Guy Chiarello, First Data president.

With this, merchants will have the ability to check-in customers as soon as they walk in the door and create a smoother, faster experience inside their stores, Chiarello added.

Once Perka merchants place the beacon near the store entrance or point of sale, they can sync the beacon with their Perka mobile loyalty program within minutes.

Powered by Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communications technology, the Perka beacon wirelessly checks customers into stores automatically as soon as they are within range of the beacon (typically about 50 feet).

Customers no longer need to launch the Perka app on their smart phones, allowing merchants to instantly greet their customers by name and award perks for confirmed purchases.

First Data claims Perka beacon is among the first in the industry to use rolling-code technology, which provides an encrypted check-in each time the customer enters the store. This feature makes it much harder for malicious hacking and spoofing activity to occur.

The Perka beacon supports both Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices. All current Perka subscribers will receive a free beacon, and all new subscribers will receive a beacon in their activation kit when they sign up.

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