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Russian company i-Free tells us that they have entered into an agreement with the OKAY superstore-chain in St. Petersburg to provide NFC touchpoints for shopping carts. The project, which utilizes technology developed by Australian firm MarkitCart, will allow advertisers to place ads on the sides of the carts and to track the movement of the carts throughout the store. The company says that the carts, which were designed by MarkitCart and have been adapted for use in Russian stores, will provide information to advertisers about the movement of the carts for the purpose of measuring the effectiveness of the ads. There will be notifications when the carts begin to show signs of wear, updates on the state of the surfaces of the ads, and when the ads should be changed. Workers at the stores will be able to use NFC-enabled smartphones to periodically check the ads and send data to advertisers.
In terms of traction, a spokesperson from i-Free tells us that there are currently more than 5,000 carts in 19 and that they are quickly rolling out the service. The company says that this is the first step in their efforts towards widespread adoption. Earlier this month, we did a post about a partnership between i-Free, Tinkoff Credit Systems Bank, and MasterCard PayPass to introduce an NFC wallet to Russia.
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