Beyond loyalty – adding intelligence and security to loyalty programs with NXP and MIFARE 14. March 2017

How airlines and frequent flyer programs can benefit from NXP NFC technology

Rewarding frequent travelers with exclusive benefits already started back in the 1980s. Since then, frequent flyer programs (FFP) gained a lot of traction, and different kinds of rewards programs emerged. Nowadays, travelers can earn loyalty points or miles for distance flown or paid amounts, and redeem them later for flights, hotel stays or purchasing retail items.

The travel loyalty market is constantly changing, with airlines seeking for efficient ways to engage with their customers and attracting new members at the same time. The NXP MIFARE team had the pleasure to participate in the 9th Annual Loyalty Conference from FlightGlobal and Global Flight which focuses solely on FFPs provided by airlines and other FFP partners. From February 20-22, 2017, over 250 loyalty professionals from 70+ unique airlines met for the Loyalty conference at the Royal Garden Hotel in London, which offered ideal conditions to engage with industry experts.

Enhancing customer interaction

One major topic at this year’s Loyalty conference was how airlines, hotels, car rental firms and other FFP partners can add value to their existing loyalty scheme. That’s why we chose the theme “Discover an alternative way to enhance customer interaction” for our workshop at the conference. During the workshop we explained how NXP technology helps to create relevant and long-lasting customer relationships, by using contactless MIFARE® products. In particular, MIFARE® DESFire® EV2 – a secure, ISO14443 based smart card IC – and the NXP AppXplorer mobile application and collaboration platform.

Here’s an example: A traveler visits a European city and easily stores all his loyalty points on the MIFARE DESFire EV2 smart card, or smart wearable, while using the NXP AppXplorer and an NFC-enabled smartphone to discover other available applications within the city or region. Applications that can be loaded onto the smart card range from any membership program and e-tickets for public transport and bike sharing, to hotel keys and tickets for local events. With that, each traveler can personalize its card and store all important applications on one smart medium, and there’s no need to carry many different cards in the wallet.

Keeping customers engaged and collecting smart data
Loyalty program operators always seek for new business models and revenue streams that drive Return on Investment (ROI) and keep customers engaged. NXP’s latest MIFARE contactless IC and cloud solutions support reward programs to differentiate from competitors as they allow for enhanced digitalization and cloud connectivity – thus driving the Internet of Things. With a MIFARE DESFire EV2 contactless IC, complemented by the NXP AppXplorer platform, loyalty program operators gather smart data about each customer’s behavior and preferences to build a better understanding of their needs. These insights can be used to further enhance loyalty programs through targeted marketing campaigns or personalized offerings. In addition, NXP’s certified products such as MIFARE Plus® EV1 and MIFARE DESFire EV2 provide high security while protecting each customer’s personal data and avoiding counterfeits.

Differentiating loyalty programs through effective partnerships

Collaborating with different partners can be a difficult task for airlines. Therefore, another stream at the conference dealt with the question which partnerships actually deliver ROI. The latest NXP technology facilitates the extension of loyalty programs by seamlessly on-boarding service providers from various industries. Adding new services, such as transport, hotel access, bike sharing, and micro-payment schemes to a contactless MIFARE DESFire EV2 IC is possible over the air using the NXP AppXplorer mobile application, even after the card has been deployed in the market. Smart card issuers can easily interact on a global scale with third party service providers relying on the NXP AppXplorer collaboration platform for providing approved legal framework, technical capabilities and credibility of each participant.

Up to date, over 750 cities use MIFARE products for their contactless schemes and MIFARE product implementations can be found in a vast number of hotels worldwide. This offers airlines and other loyalty program operators good conditions for expanding their rewards program based on MIFARE products. Moreover, NXP provides loyalty program operators with a powerful ecosystem of trusted partners – as for example nextbike, a bike sharing provider which operates in 23 countries that uses NXP’s MIFARE DESFire contactless ICs to grant access to their service.

The Loyalty 2017 Conference was a true hotspot to explore innovative ideas and find new collaborations in the loyalty industry. On this occasion, we would like thank the organizers FlightGlobal and Global Flight for having us.


Discover more about the NXP AppXplorer on YouTube or have a look at our smart loyalty infographic powered by MIFARE products and NFC. Write us an email at mifare@nxp.com for further information.

Picture: NXP’s Alexander Dimitrov showcasing the NXP AppXplorer concept during our workshop at the Loyalty 2017 conference

Alexander Dimitrov-NXP-Loyalty 2017

Picture: Bike sharing made easy with NXP partner nextbike

NXP-Loyalty 2017-1