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Clubcard on Your Phone? NTT Introduces System That Combines 100 Reward Cards In One Mobile Phone

NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com) announced on October 9 the development of a system that can securely integrate the reward cards of more than 100 retailers into a single mobile phone.

Users can easily register, access or overwrite membership and loyalty data just by waving their mobile phone, equipped with a contactless IC chip, over a terminal in a retail shop.

The system, named "Gyazapo"(pronounced "gah-zah-poh"), frees users from carrying and searching through multiple rewards cards while shopping.

By simply waving their phone over the terminal, they can enjoy the convenience and benefits of shopping with membership services, including customer rewards and discounts.

Gyazapo is also a green system that helps to save natural resources by eliminating the need for traditional plastic cards.

Key-Shuttle (Japanese and international patents pending) is the NTT Com-developed technology that integrates the information in the phone.

Once a dedicated application is downloaded into the phone, Key-Shuttle enables loyalty points, ID photos and other membership information of multiple retailers to be registered under a single platform.

The system includes features for security and privacy, such as unauthorized access detection and user-required permission before a retailer can share membership information with other retailers.

Reward cards registered in Gyazapo are more difficult to duplicate or falsify than traditional plastic cards, making this a more secure system for loyalty programs.

NTT Com will test the Gyazapo system in a trial from February to June 2009. Participants will include major Japanese retailers Bic Camera Inc., Nojima Corporation and Runsystem Co., Ltd.

There are no release dates for implementations outside Japaan for the time being.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.