February 15, 2017 | THORSTEN BRINKMANN
This post is co-authored by Thorsten Brinkmann and Douglas Hartung.
Many of the world’s most successful business people have something in common: They’re masterful in their ability to know their audience. You probably know the type. You’ve met them just once or twice in casual business settings. But when you see them at a future event or meeting, they always know your name, recall a recent vacation you took, ask about your family or engage you in a conversation about one of your favorite pastimes.
What’s their secret? They believe in the power of informed interactions. And they make the effort to stage and enable them.
While it may seem to come so easily, these masters of building relationships likely do their homework before connecting with you. They can use a single encounter to inform subsequent meetings. They don’t need a re-introduction. The result is a faster, deeper level of comfort and trust. Richer interactions. And, likely, a more meaningful experience.
We can draw many parallels between these successful business people and the potential of beacon technology in the financial and retail environments.
Getting to know beacon technology
Before we delve into the relevance of the analogy about those successful business people, let’s properly introduce beacon technology.
To put it simply, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) “beacons” – also widely referred to as proximity beacons – are devices that enable communication to portable electronic devices that are in close proximity. A beacon broadcasts a unique identifier to any other Bluetooth device. When in the range of a beacon, smartphones and other mobile devices can receive this unique identifier which can trigger a mobile application to perform certain actions. Working in concert with a compatible app or operating system, beacons can confirm a device’s physical location, track customers associated with that device, deliver a push notification or message and even enable a specific action based on the device’s location.
The value of beacon technology to enable digital interactions with consumers is already being realized in places like retail locations, sporting and concert venues, museums, trade show exhibit halls, airports and more.
Harnessing the power of more informed interactions
Why have these businesses embraced beacon technology? Because of its potential to enable more informed, meaningful interactions with known and identified customers.
Like the successful business person in the opening analogy, beacon technology enables relevant communication with consumers, without requiring those consumers to make repeated introductions. Instead, the technology confirms the presence of consumers by sensing their mobile device. Then, using insight gained through previous interactions, it can facilitate messages, stage transactions or enable specific actions that will be meaningful to them.
Understanding its usefulness for your business
So how can beacon technology work today in your financial or retail business?
Here’s a simple example:
This use case is relevant for five important reasons.
Applying beacon technology to the financial and retail environments
Diebold Nixdorf is already bringing beacon technology to life in the financial and retail spaces. Today, we’re using the technology as a way to deepen a relationship between a bank or retailer and consumers through the digital identity that consumers typically have with them wherever they go: their smartphones. Beacons enable us to know when a specific customer is in proximity of an ATM, branch or store. They facilitate pushing messages to a consumer or a device. And they help us capture data that can make future interactions richer and more meaningful.
Our Responsive Banking Concept, first introduced at Money 20/20 in 2015, utilized beacon technology. Integrating with technologies like dynamic content management, near-field communications (NFC) and motion detection, beacon technology helps securely identify consumers, monitor traffic and personalize marketing content – all while gathering important information about consumer traffic and activity.
Also at a recent Money 20/20 event, Diebold Nixdorf demonstrated another concept that incorporates beacon technology: our TPiSHOP and Mobile-Enabled Checkout Concept. The concept makes visits to retail stores more seamless, intuitive and fast through a completely digitally enabled experience. Through the application of beacon technology and other innovations, apps can enhance and inform shopping lists, enable self-scanning technology and even facilitate mobile (or cash) self-service checkout. The concept also provides retailers with valuable data about shopper activity, such as frequently visited areas of the store, time spent in specific departments and more.
Late last year, we launched a pilot with Australia’s leading independent payment solutions provider Cuscal Limited to further explore the benefits of beacon technology. In this application, beacon technology works in conjunction with consumers’ mobile applications to enable financial institutions to detect and identify consumers as they approach an ATM or branch lobby. Utilizing beacon technology allows financial institutions to proactively tailor one-to-one marketing offers based on data such as a consumer’s personal preferences or financial needs. Cuscal continues to test this advanced technology on Diebold Nixdorf ATMs and software in its lab in Sydney.
Envisioning future potential
Like the successful business person who’s a master of building relationships, beacon technology leverages insight and embraces a proactive approach. And while we’re already working to incorporate it into our systems and software offerings, we know we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of how it can help financial institutions and retailers better know their audiences and create more valuable encounters. As we continue to explore its potential and apply it to our portfolio, we look forward to discovering all of the innovative ways it will help drive the future of connected commerce.
Ready to harness technology to help create richer interactions and more meaningful experiences for your customers? Let’s start a conversation about how Diebold Nixdorf’s innovations can be part of your roadmap.