News & Views - Savantor

More Paper Cards

Monday, 17 September 2007

Hot on the heels of the super soaraway Sun, The Evening Standard is launching a pre-paid contactless card that can be used as a substitute for cash when purchasing copies of the paper.  The new Eros card will, like Transport for London's Oyster payments system, make the paper cheaper to buy than paying cash. The card can be topped up on the paper's Web site and the roll out across the capital's travel zone one will begin in October.

The Eros card's creators - marketing consultancy HH&S and i-movo, a technology company specialising in digital vouchers schemes - believe the scheme may be a world first.  Having done deals with major providers of top-up terminals, i-movo estimates its vouchers - distributed on cards or as text messages on mobile phones - could be topped up in 30,000 outlets nationwide.

As newspapers fight to hold up sales in the face of online news and free papers cashless reward cards could be adopted by other titles.  One of the main attractions for newspapers is that they can incorporate discounts and giveaways to loyal readers.  You have a reward card that, via price cuts and offers, actually rewards loyal readers, rather than provide them with CD's and DVD's they don't want.  The Standard is offering free music downloads on Apple's iTunes site, a move that could herald the death of the free CD and DVD with newspapers.  What the card offers is basically a digital subscription that locks customers in to their pre-paid choice as well as well as providing information on who your readers are, where they live and what they spend.

However the down side of this approach if it takes hold is that members of the public will have to hold a separate card for each newspaper.  Sounds like a good opportunity for downloaded apps onto an NFC enabled mobile phone.


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