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Nectar Card in your mobile?

Posted: March 5th, 2009, by Yunho Chung

Can you imagine that you collect your nectar point with your mobile phone? It might be possible in the near future because your nectar card function can be embedded in the USIM card in your mobile phone. This will definitely lighten you wallet, which are usually filled with a number of credit cards, royalty cards etc.

However, it is already the reality for the customers of SK Telecom in Korea. SK marketing & company and SK Telecom today launch their new service called ‘OK Cashbag Happy Box’. OK Cashbag by SK marketing & company is Korea’s leading royalty program (80% of Korea’s economically active populations are members of OK Cashbag). And SK marketing & company is unique integrated marketing services provider in Korea covering communications, royalty, research & consulting, commerce etc.

Previously, you have to carry your OK Cashbag card all the time in order to collect your point. And you should visit their website for checking your current points. This inconvenience hinders customers to collect and spend the points more actively. However, you can now collect and check your points with your mobile phone more conveniently as long as you can download the ‘Happy Box’ with your 3G phone.

3G phones which required USIM chip began to be deployed in Korea since 2006. Approximately 40% of customers are now 3G subscribers and this 3G migration is progressing so smoothly. The USIM is not just a small chip that has customer information for mobile subscribers but it has much more potential for providing various mobile applications.

[OK Cashbag in USIM chip]

The Happy Box provides not only royalty card function but also other valuable services. Basically, you can collect your OK Cashbag point at the 4,000 SK petrol stations all over the country. The wireless devices available at the petrol station will accept your 3G mobile phone instead of the card. The Happy Box also provides other services such as Giftycon, Mobile Research and Today’s Fortune etc.

[SK OK Cashbag Happy Box]

Personally, I once involved in a new biz development project regarding USIM. At that time I could find huge potential for USIM applications as a marketing tool. 90% of people now carry their mobile phones in which a chip with significant capacity is embedded. I believe the launch of Happy Box is just a tip of iceberg of USIM based service. Please keep watching on Korea regarding what’s happening with USIM.

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114 Responses to Nectar Card in your mobile?

  1. Graham Brown (mobileYouth)

    Hi Yunho, a great post - thanks for sharing. It seems so obvious yet the goldmine of data that operators have been sitting on for some time remains simply unmined. Why do you think SK has, all of sudden, launched this program?

  2. Philippe

    if this service is contactless, it means that the people need to have a USIM card compatible with this sevice. Do you know how many people have a contactless USIM card in Korea ?
    Many thanks for your very interesting blog.
    I’m interested in loyalty program on the mobile, as a member of mobile marketing association in France (based in Paris).
    best regards,

  3. yunho

    hi Graham

    Nice to get comment from you.
    The reasaon that they have launched the SIM based loyalty program recently is because korea has just entered the era of GSM. In CDMA we did not need the SIM. When moving to 3G Korean major operators dediced to move to GSM instead of CDMA. Also my company provided the initial idea and carried out the consulting project in 2 years ago.

  4. yunho

    hi Philippe

    thanks for your comment. Among 48 milion koreans around 45 million holds mobile handset. Since we started to move to 3.5G from early 2007, we estimate around 35% to 40% has moved to 3.5G which is around 15 millions. If you want to explore more on Korea’s Loyalty Program give me mail giving your possible ideas for collaboration.

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