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Jollibee brings NFC technology to their stores with the ‘happyplus’ Card

I laud Jollibee for being the first retailer pushing for fast adoption of NFC technology in the Philippines.

Geeky Explanation: (warning, nosebleed)
NFC stands for “Near Field Communication” and is a prevalent piece of technology similar to Bluetooth or QR codes and is based on the current RFID technology. The difference is that the “near field” in NFC means that as soon as you point your device (in this case a card) to the kiosk sensor within 4 centimeters, the “tag” is recorded. The not-so-recent Android 2.3 Gingerbread upgrade enables NFC for several of their models like the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Non-Geeky Explanation:
Your mobile phone (or any device with NFC) is now a debit card.

The HappyPlus Card seems to be Jollibee’s way to condition the minds of Filipinos to adopt NFC as a part of their daily lives. This is a bridge. It is no secret that the final product will be to use NFC-enabled smartphones (many Android devices already have it built in but aren’t being used by Pinoys) but the cards are a good way of pushing the market to familiarize with this tech. Essentially, it’s something Filipinos have been doing for a while, claiming rewards points with their load, using Passa Load services, etc. Jollibee’s move makes sense as they already have staked their claim in a mobile app for smartphones (aka Netphone).

The service will be available starting January 23 2012. The card itself will cost PHP 100.00 and will enable rewards points to accumulate. You can use the points to purchase from Jollibee, Chowking, Red Ribbon, Greenwich and soon, Mang Inasal. In essence, NFC eventually replaces the CBTL Swirl Cards and SM Advantage cards we have come to love.

Current Phones that support NFC:

Android
Nexus S
Google Nexus S 4G
Samsung Galaxy S II (not all versions)
Samsung Galaxy Note (not all versions)
Galaxy Nexus

Meego
Nokia N9

BlackBerry
Blackberry Bold 9790
BlackBerry Bold 9990/9930
BlackBerry Torch 9810/9860
Blackberry Curve 9350/9360/9370

The iPhone does not officially support NFC technology.

2012 is the year NFC will be introduced and will grow. Smart has started pushing it as well for bazaar entrances. You can use your smartphone (w/ NFC) to enter bazaars. Who knows what’s next? Concert tickets? MRT tickets? Endless!

About the author

Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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