To be Chipped or not to be Chipped – that is the question

The world is becoming a smart place. Smartphones. Smart watches. Smart speakers. Smart thermostats. Smart power switches. Smart smoke detectors. Smart vacuums. Smart pet cameras. Smart home hubs, Smart displays in supermarkets and retail stores, even Smart devices with alluring names like Alexa and Siri.

The way that we conduct our everyday lives is getting “smarter”, with the Internet of Things set to make a massive impact on us all. But how far would you go?

A Wisconsin vending machine company recently announced that fifty of its employees will have microchips implanted in their hands, to facilitate wireless payment for snacks as part of a voluntary test program. The news has created a stir – and plenty of divided opinions.

On the one hand (excuse the pun), it could make our lives a lot easier, with quick and simple applications such as opening doors at the wave of a hand, operating various devices and making instant contactless payments. No more pockets bulging with coins or bags full of sharp keys. It’s an attractive proposition. Moreover, you and others could always know where you are in the world and you could never get lost.

On the other (non-chipped?) hand, to some who have due concerns , it smacks of “Big Brother” (not the TV show) and the possibility of personal security and health risks in the future. Microchips have been reported to eventually “travel” around microchipped pets’ bodies – so could the same happen to a human being? The mind boggles. You’ve had a microchip placed in your hand, then years down the line, you end up having to present another part of your anatomy to the microchip reader! Likewise, if these physically-embedded microchip applications could be hacked, who knows what chaos this might cause? It could be a much worse than simply being mistakenly vended a chocolate bar instead of your favourite low calorie fizzy drink.

The wild imagination could go further, with the risk of limbs being removed by unscrupulous burglars, or even involuntary external control of our own bodies. Think of a Pavlov’s dog reaction pre-programmed for slimmers who get too close to those tempting vending machines.

Whilst I embrace the exciting opportunities that wireless connectivity presents in all its forms, I personally will be sticking to ridding myself of those obsolete £1 coins in vending machines before October 15th 2017. The only chips I will be putting into myself for now will be the ones with plenty of salt and vinegar.

For a much less intrusive and painless alternative, NFC tags and associated bespoke mobile apps are now available from Scantech Solutions for a multitude of innovative retail and non-retail applications, and can be easily added to a wide variety of print and marketing items. Please contact us to find out the full potential of what NFC can really do for your organisation, your sales, your security or your workforce.

Tim Matthews, Sales Executive

Scantech pioneer mobile ticketing solution in Italy

An exciting new mobile transport ticketing solution has seen the light of day in Palermo, Italy, using Near Field Communication (NFC) delivered by Scantech to Italian mobile commerce solution provider WolleyBuy.

Using this new initiative, passengers can quickly and easily purchase their travel tickets before boarding the bus, via the Wolley App. Once on board, the passenger can validate their ticket by “checking in” using their NFC-enabled smartphone. The entire process is very fast and completely secure.


The solution was rolled out across a fleet of more than 300 vehicles for Amat Palermo Buses in mid-April and has already garnered a great deal of interest from passengers and transport companies alike. The app, Wolley, can be downloaded on Android and iOS smartphones and topped up with credit using a bank card or one of the 40,000 Sisal PAY stores across Italy. The app can also be linked to a payment card for transactions.

“The beauty of NFC is its ease of use,” says Craig Stephens, Sales Director at Scantech. “The user experience is unbeatably smooth. Once the app is installed, all the user needs to do is select which ticket to buy and then validate it by holding their compatible smartphone over the NFC tag on the bus. We see a huge demand for these types of solutions as they carry a great deal of benefit for both the users and the merchants.”

The WolleyBuy bus ticketing system requires no upfront investment from the transport provider and can be set up in a matter of days or weeks, depending on the active fleet size. The platform provides a great source of passenger traffic data, as usage can be monitored down to the level of individual buses.

“We are seeing a rapid increase in the use of NFC for Mobile Commerce activities across Europe, and we want to encourage this trend by ensuring that the security and integrity of users is protected at every single stage of the transaction”, explains Giuseppe Di Marco, CEO at WolleyBuy. “There is a massive potential for providing various areas of mobile commerce services to merchants, as interest grows from both the end users and businesses in a wide range of fields.”

“This is an experimental area for us, but one we wanted to explore as we could get it up and running in a matter of days and the operations were so secure”, explains Antonio Gristina, Chairman of Amat Palermo. “We are proud to be first in Italy to give to our customers this new way to buy and validate tickets in such a simple way.”

With the help of just one app and one payment system, the user can purchase any kind of service or product, in the form of a digital voucher. The inherent benefits for the user include speedy service and smooth transactions – which all contribute to driving up customer loyalty.

“We chose to work with Scantech after doing some careful research on providers of enhanced print, and particularly the expertise of integrating NFC and QR into unique stickers and printed items”, Giuseppe Di Marco continues. “Scantech offered just the high quality, durable and reliable products that this project requires and we are delighted with the result.”

In the WolleyBuy eco-system, the power and the connectivity of the users’ smartphones are being leveraged using passive NFC tags instead of expensive devices. “The technology opens up such a wide range of opportunities for merchants”, Giuseppe explains. “We are currently using it for public transport, vending machines, parking, restaurant chains, cinema and museum ticketing, discount coupons at large retailers, fuel stations and more. It’s attractive to merchants as it is a very cost-effective way to create extra value for both customers and the business.”

pandaTAG – The first complete turnkey mobile marketing solution

This week, at the Technology for Marketing & Advertising in London, Scantech launched pandaTAG – a full commercial solution for Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology integrated into printed communications and marketing campaigns.pandatag from Scantech

By integrating NFC technology into a wide range of printed items, Scantech enables businesses
to connect to their audience via an interactive channel
that can track behaviour, collect data, process orders and much more – in seconds – using the customer’s smartphone.

“The NFC technology opens doors for all sectors to engage closer with their audience, using the recipient’s own mobile phone as the communication channel”, says Craig Stephens, Sales Director at Scantech. “It’s so flexible, that we still haven’t seen one vertical which couldn’t benefit from NFC in some way. A charity can enable quick and easy donations via a Giving Poster, while a food producer may prefer to offer recipes and cooking videos to users’ phones in the supermarket.”

Payment giants VISA and MasterCard are also continuing to invest in the NFC technology for added functionality. “At the moment, NFC is the fastest growing technology for payments, loyalty schemes and consumer engagement”, says Craig Stephens. “We help companies to take advantage of this rapid adoption by offering a unique, complete turnkey solution incorporating everything an organisation needs to get started with NFC.”

NFC is a form of contactless communication between a device, typically a smartphone, and a tag. Contactless communication allows a user to hold the smartphone over a NFC compatible device to send information without needing to touch the devices together, or go through multiple steps setting up a connection.

The Scantech NFC package comprises a full suite of NFC tags, signage, bespoke app development or off-the shelf apps, as well as tracking and reporting solutions. The entire project is managed fully in-house, from start to finish, by a crew of experienced developers and print technicians.

“We’re the UK leaders in providing integrated NFC print solutions”, Craig explains. “Our flexibility as a printing business and technological expertise means that we can produce NFC-enabled marketing collateral, display decals, point-of-sale graphics and much more – tailored exactly to the customer’s requirements”.

Some of the most notable successes Scantech have seen include the rollout of NFC-enabled parking meters via PaybyPhone across the UK and France. As adoption of the technology increases, Scantech has been continuously refining their materials, methods and process management tools since 2012, to provide market-ready solutions with total customer confidence.

At the Technology for Marketing & Advertising event at Olympia, London on 25-26 February, Scantech also showcased a full range of print services across all levels of complexity and size, as well as supporting design, marketing, web development and mail fulfilment services.

Meet us at the main advertising industry tech event of 2015

Join Scantech at the key industry event for marketing and advertising professionals at Olympia in February – TFM&A.

We’ll be showcasing some of the most innovative mobile solutions currently being adopted throughout the phonesretail landscape, using Near-Field Communication (NFC) as the channel for direct and instant client engagement.

In the last 12 months, we’ve seen NFC become widely regarded as the mobile marketing technology of choice for many organisations, as an extremely cost-effective platform for improving customer loyalty, driving sales and facilitating payments.

Book your free ticket today and secure your place at the TFM&A to see a selection of live demos of NFC technology in action.

See you there!

The S.M.A.R.T. way to manage your mobile workforce

A complete site management system using NFC


When Select Security were considering security management solution options for their mobile workforce at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, Near Field Communications (NFC) easily stood out as the most cost-effective option.

“Previous technology, such as RFID for example, was cumbersome, difficult to operate and very unstable”, explains Dave Potts, Business Development Manager at Select Security. Now, Instead of worrying about the system going down or being unavailable, the mobile security officers can provide input in real-time direct to the control centre for instant updates and reporting – using a simple smartphone app.

Check out the full video case study HERE and learn more about how NFC is revolutionising the way companies manage their mobile workforce and site management.

Curious to know more? Contact us today on

NFC – a raging success at Packaging Innovations

Scantech Ltd boldly launched a unique concept for interactive packaging at the Packaging Innovations show in London on Sep 30-Oct 1. By embedding an ultra-thin NFC tag into the packaging of a product – or point of sale – the vendor is able to engage directly with the customer via their smartphone.


  • Collect valuable customer data
  • Improve upsell/cross-sell
  • Build loyalty programmes
  • Instant feedback & quality control
  • Track distribution
  • Monitor buyer behaviour
  • Instantly push rich content like video/audio
  • …and much more

Examples of use cases for NFC-enabled packaging

The Food Provider
Where shelf space is limited, in-store NFC labels can provide surveys on product selection, guide the shopper to a wider range of products online as well as provide nutritional information or suggest recipes complete with instructional videos.

The Department Store
By touching NFC-enabled product labels with their smartphone, the shopper can discover special promotions on their favourite products, find matching items, watch fashion videos and share outfits on social media.

The Electronics Manufacturer
An NFC tag in the user manual of a piece of home electronics gives the customer access to instant online support, instruction videos, the latest product updates, user forums and an online shop for accessories.

The Record Label
By having a CD with an NFC tag embedded in the case, the user gets access to an app where they can discover more about their favourite artists, book concert tickets, buy merchandise and enter competitions.

The Charity
NFC-enabled posters or pillars can be placed in strategic locations to act as unmanned donation stations. By tapping their smartphone on a particular cash amount, the user can quickly and easily donate to the charity via text message.

For more information or a demo, contact Scantech today.

To secure a 20% discount on any future order, make sure to submit your details HERE.
(Valid for any new NFC orders placed until 31 December 2014. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts.)


Meet us at Packaging Innovations in London

Packaging Innovations banner

Scantech will proudly be taking part in Packaging Innovations and Luxury Packaging 2014, which takes place on 30 September & 1 October 2014 at the Business Design Centre, London. We will be showcasing some of our unique and creative solutions around packaging and commercial campaigns for the music and entertainment industry, particularly in collaboration with our strategic partners at the London Laser Company.

As sales of CDs and DVDs are dropping due to increased downloads and online viewing and listening, we’re now seeing a huge and growing interest in the use of interactive technology for the delivery of home entertainment to help revive the value of the physical product. We can deliver a revolutionary customer experience, with the use of NFC (Near Field Communication).

Curious? Meet us at stand GB35. Read more & register HERE.