How Fujitsu Plans to Revitalise Local Economies Using Blockchain
Blockchain technology has been all the rage for several months now. Beautiful whitepapers have been written but many projects are yet to prove themselves in the real world. Japanese IT giant
Fujitsu is, however, taking a step. A new service that has just been launched hopes to drive tourist traffic to local areas through a reward system that uses traditional promotional strategies such as stamps and coupons.
Here is how it works. Users can collect points in certain specific local stores by scanning QR codes with their smart devices. The rewards can then be spent on stores and shopping centres within a certain area.
Data on the usage of the coupons are recorded on a blockchain ledger, linked to user information then analysed. No personally identifying information is collected, Fujitsu says.
Increasing Willingness to Buy
By connecting and promoting events in tourist areas the Fujitsu Intelligent Society Solution Blockchain Asset Service as it is called hopes to attract more customers and increase their “willingness to buy.”
At the same time, they can also more “effectively set strategies for regional revitalization, based on the activity patterns of users seen in the analysis results, and on such factors as the use of the coupons and other benefits,” the company says in a statement.
The service will be exhibited in Tokyo between June 13-15.
Several ICOs have proposed similar ideas in the past but few if any have gone through to implement them. The idea is to reward customers with tokens for the data provided that would otherwise go to advertising agencies.
Fujitsu has been conducting “field trials” on this concept together with organisations such as Odakyu Electric Railway Company, Taiwan Family Mart, the city of Chiba and Chiba bank. In the trials, Fujitsu has been supporting marketing activities while collecting data on user activity such as “which stamps they collected.
Asset Management Functionality
Customers can manage the digital points in a number of ways including where and where they can be spent using an asset management functionality. The service can also be connected to other applications through an API.
With a smart device application connected to this, service users can convert points or stamps, collected using QR codes placed in specified areas, into coupons or other benefits that can be used in specified stores or shopping centres.
Fujitsu says that this can help attract more people to events, tourist sites and to promotional activities at shopping centres.
Worried about your privacy? Fujitsu seems well aware of such concerns.
Only limited information such as age and sex will be collected and analysed for user interests and activities which can then be used to come up with a sales strategy, the company says.