Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

[Singapore] Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Deploys Samsung NFC Solution

If you’ve stepped into any of coffee chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf‘s 51 outlets recently, you may have noticed a point-of-sale marketing promotion that seems just that little bit out-of-place there. It actually promotes the use of Samsung TecTiles, the first business implementation of the company’s Near Field Communications (NFC) technology in Southeast Asia.

Despite the introduction of NFC technology into Singapore a number of years back, it hasn’t quite taken off. Nokia, for example, tried in 2011 to implement some NFC marketing solutions in collaboration with the likes of transport company ComfortDelGro and museum operator the National Heritage Board (NHB). We’ve not seem a widespread takeup of the technology since.

But Samsung is working in partnership with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to place Samsung TecTiles, essentially postage stamp-sized Near Field Communications (NFC) stickers, at all its outlets in Singapore in an exclusive marketing campaign running from 8 February to 7 March 2013. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf simply need to tap their NFC-enabled Samsung GALAXY S III or GALAXY Note II LTE to a Samsung TecTile at the CBTL store and ‘Like’ the CBTL Facebook Page to instantly redeem a free up-size for their drinks.

“With the largest range of NFC-enabled Android devices in Singapore and the wide availability of TecTiles, Samsung is supporting both retailers and consumers to improve the way mobile devices are used for everyday tasks,” says Irene Ng, Vice President of Marketing, Samsung Asia. “Retail businesses like The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf can transform how they engage with customers with diverse uses of Samsung TecTiles that realize the potential of NFC technology.”

Samsung TecTiles can be programmed to automate and simplify various smartphone functions – for example, a retailer can set up a TecTile in a way such that consumers can instantly “check-in” on Facebook or Foursquare, connect to Wi-Fi, or download various content the moment they enter the store.

“When (customers) step into our store, they can seamlessly tap their Samsung smartphones to a TecTile to ‘Like’ our Facebook Page and get a free drink up-size,” explains Mr Alvin Goo, General Manager of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. “We are dedicated to offering our customers the best – whether a coffee or service – and are excited to be working with Samsung on this innovative co-marketing campaign to provide a more integrated customer experience.”

The Samsung TecTiles app is available for free download from Samsung Apps or Google Play, and Samsung TecTiles are available at most Samsung retailers at S$28 for a pack of five TecTiles.

According to Samsung, most NFC-enabled Android smartphones that comply with MIFARE technology should be able to interface with Samsung TecTiles, but the company cannot guarantee that smartphones from other brands are wholly compatible.


Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

Tagged as: , , , , , ,