A few years ago, in one of my annual lectures at RFID Journal LIVE!, both in the United States and in Brazil, I predicted that companies would be able to distribute tags with their business identities to do marketing to their customers, building loyalty, for example. Well, this day has come! And now, more and more, companies from different sectors must discover these marketing benefits.
I use banking services from several financial institutions and, for some decades now, I have been an individual customer of Bank Itaú. In the last few weeks, I received an email from the bank inviting me to become a user of Tag Itaú, with the following words: “you avoid queues at tolls and parking lots, and have zero monthly fees using an Itaú card, credit or debit”.
I found the initiative extremely interesting and intelligent, although I personally cannot benefit from this service, as I don’t have a car. However, as I spent the last 10 or 11 years covering the evolution of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and its growing use in business every day, and also for having predicted that this marketing use of tags would be possible, I was very excited about Itau idea.
It is clear the bank has an immediate gain by offering the service without a monthly fee. As most private companies specialized in offering tags charge for the provision of the service, even if it is not used, through monthly maintenance fees, offering the market a tag free of monthly fee is an excellent attraction for new customers.
Thus, consumers who currently do not have a relationship with Bank Itaú and, therefore, do not use their cards and are not even clients of the institution, may be interested in using Itaú’s services to benefit from the fee exemption. Furthermore: in addition to attracting new customers, the bank retains current ones. I am an exception for not owning a car, but most people I know who have a car use toll and parking tags as Sem Parar and Conect Car, in Brazil.
It is worth mentioning that these companies specialized in RFID tags for vehicles also have offers free of monthly fee, even partially. The curious – and creative – aspect of Bank Itaú’s initiative lies precisely in the fact that the institution does not have its core business related to these toll and parking systems, since it is a financial institution, and at the same time it benefits from its business for through the use of RFID tags as marketing tools.
The creativity of Bank Itaú’s marketing initiative should awaken competing financial institutions to similar actions and also encourage other companies from other segments, which can also benefit from tags to attract customers and keep existing ones more satisfied.
Imagine, for example, how a network of gas stations or a vehicle insurance company or even a sports equipment brand… can benefit from this type of promotion.
What about you? Can your company reap the benefits of RFID tags? I’m sure it can.
Edson Perin is editor of IoP Journal, correspondent for RFID Journal and founder of Netpress Books.