A radio frequency ID tag with those fries, please

Fast food franchises have been testing mobile loyalty rewards and advertising programs for a few years, now. But soon, that system could know a lot more about your eating habits through radio frequency identification tag stickers on your cell phone.

A recent article in Near Field Communications World highlights pilot programs in place at McDonald’s, Arby’s, Qdoba, Dairy Queen and Dunkin’ Donuts. Here’s how the system, managed by mobile marketing company Tetherball, works:

Consumers who sign up for Tetherball’s service are issued with an RFID tag that they affix to their mobile phone. The tag is activated by the customer by texting the ID number on the tag to a control centre. Then, each time they make a purchase at a participating retailer or food outlet, they are uniquely identified at either a contactless point-of-sale terminal or a dedicated kiosk so that they can gain or redeem loyalty points.

After reviewing your purchasing habits, Tetherball sends you coupons that are geographically targeted and order specific — i.e., an offer for a free apple pie at the McDonald’s next to your work.

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink