More on the Metro RFID consumer loyalty cards

March 02, 2004

Reported in the weekend, German retailer group Metro has pulled their RFID-enabled consumer loyalty cards.

This article in Infoworld (via rfidprivacy) gives more background on the decision:

At the Rheinberg supermarket, Metro had embedded RFID chips in loyalty cards for the sole purpose of identifying the age of shoppers wanting to view DVD trailers, according to Truchsess. German law, he said, prevents anyone under the age of 16 from viewing certain movies, so stores like Metro need to have an identification system if they want to provide a viewing service.

The ID chip on the loyalty card, which shoppers use to activate the monitor for viewing DVD trailers, contains the customer number only, according to Truchsess. Data about the individual shopper, such as age, is stored in a database linked via wireless LAN technology to an RFID reader in the DVD section. "We wanted to test RFID technology for this application instead of bar codes, but because of protests by some groups, we have decided to use bar codes," he said.

Regarding the future, however, they continue:
None of the other areas where Metro is testing RFID technology, however, are affected by the company's decision to abandon RFID chips in loyalty cards, according to the spokesman. "We remain totally committed to using RFID in the area of supply chain management," he said. "A top priority is the use of this technology for tracking pallets and cases. And although we're still interested in testing the technology at the item level, this isn't a priority at the present."
and "going WalMart":
From November onward, Metro will require 100 key suppliers to affix smart tags to their pallets and transport packages, according to Truchsess.

Posted by andersja

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