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September 2016

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NFC Tags in the Diamond Industry: The Upcoming Retail Trend

As technology advances, so does the diamond industry, from enhancing the customer experience to complex diamond imaging, blockchain security technologies and more. Currently, a new technology is set to revolutionize the diamond industry – NFC tagging.  A collaboration between Thinfilm and Sarine Technologies is set to move NFC tags into the world of jewelry retail, by integrating Thinfilm’s NFC SpeedTap into the existing Sarine Profile diamond sales platform.

NFC Tags: The Story behind the Revolution

NFC tags are small microchips implanted into tags, which can store information that is transferable to an NFC enabled device, such as a smartphone. NFC tags are already being implemented in retail stores. The customer enters a local showroom, and while in store, visits the retailer’s website on their mobile phone. The customer then scans the NFC tag of the item(s) they wish to purchase, and the sale occurs completely online. Grocery stores are also using NFC tags to ease the purchase experience. Customers can scan the tags on grocery items to learn more about the particular item, such as nutrition information. They can also buy without ever having to pass the checkout counter, by simply scanning, purchasing and bagging as they go along. This process not only saves the consumer valuable checkout time, but it also saves the retailer money spent on staffing. Retailers in general tend to prefer NFC tags to in-store scanners with barcodes. Why? NFC tags are proving to be more cost effective as they rely less on the need for expensive hardware. Also, NFC tags are an incredibly user-friendly interface for the customer. After all, the customer only has to scan the tag with their mobile phone.

NFC Tags: Making Waves in the Diamond Industry

While NFC tags have already been lauded as the technology that will enable contactless mobile payments, retailers are only now learning the full extent of what they can do to improve the customer experience, not only within the store, but also for post-sales engagement and customer retention. NFC tags can provide consumers with real-time information about any item, including diamonds. While in store, the consumer can instantly access a diamond’s history, measurements, grading information and more. Retailers can also make use of NFC tags to offer special offers and rewards, information about the purchase, and other related products, as well as the capability to purchase online.

The Future of NFC Technology

With the cooperation between Sarine and Thinfilm, NFC tags may well be the future of diamond jewelry retail, Attached to the diamond ring or any type of jewelry piece, each NFC tag is uniquely identifiable and virtually impossible to clone. This makes it an effective counter check for luxury goods industries that struggle with issues of fraud and counterfeiting, such as designer shoes and handbags, pharmaceuticals, wine and spirits, specialty foods, and diamonds. While the Kimberly Process has minimized fraud within the diamond industry, it has been unable to fully obliterate it. Experts believe that NFC tagging will increase transparency and lower fraud within the diamond industry, as well as help to achieve the original goals of the Kimberly Process.

While no product or technology is ever a “be all, end all” to any market, NFC tags are a technological boon for the diamond industry, from helping to eliminate fraud, to improving the customer experience, and lowering retailer costs. While the full value to the industry remains to be seen, NFC tags hold the potential to be something of a “gem” for the diamond industry.

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