According to the Census Bureau, the vast majority of Americans live in cities, and in most cities public transportation is a top priority. That’s why a new innovation in delivering advertisements via public transportation in Japan could point toward the future of transit ads in the U.S.
The system, developed by Japan-based firmShunkosha, is called Strappy and allows train passengers to access advertisements and other information via a Near Field Communication (NFC) equipped strap cover. According to Keitai Watch, the passenger can simply touch their compatible phone to the strap cover and get immediate access to the content being delivered to that NFC point.
The testing of the system began in Tokyo in mid-May on several high-traffic train lines. According to the manufacturer, although the user will have immediate access to advertising information and other content, the company will not collect personal data from the users of the system, an important point in a time when consumers are becoming increasingly privacy-sensitive.
The key issue in getting such a system to propagate beyond the confines of high-tech Japan is introducing the U.S. public to more NFC technology. Japanese train passengers have been using their phones for years to quickly and conveniently pay for their rides with a tap of their phones at station turnstiles.
But in the U.S., systems like MasterCard’s PayPass, which allows you to simply tap an NFC-enabled key fob or phone to a terminal to pay for items, still appear to be less popular than paying with a normal credit or debit card, despite the fact that it’s been around for several years.
This slow adoption hasn’t stopped NFC payment technology from being adopted by major credit card companies as well as companies like Google, Verizon, and others. But as consumers show reluctance in adopting this cutting-edge form of payment, a seemingly less risky practice involving consuming advertisements and discounts on specially equipped trains and buses could smooth the way toward more acceptance of NFC technology as a primary, cashless payment option of the future.