In this COVID-19 normal world, businesses and organisations everywhere are returning to work and getting back to what they do best. Of course, these organisations need to make sure they’re keeping their customers, suppliers, contractors and other patrons safe. That means contact tracing is a must, to ensure that potential vectors of the virus are informed about any potential risk in the case of a localised COVID outbreak.
You’d be forgiven for thinking contact tracing is as easy as jotting down all your customer’s information on a piece of paper at the front door. But that in itself is not a contactless process. All your staff and customers will inevitably come into contact with the same physical item, even if you continue to swap and clean pens / pencils (a nightmare in itself!)
That’s where digital contactless tracing comes in. Your staff, suppliers, customers or other patrons simply use the smart digital device they already have on them to register or ‘check in’ at your physical premises. Though as you’ve most likely guessed, digital contactless tracing solutions are not created equal.
The Shortfall of QR Codes
‘Quick Response Codes’, more affectionately known as ‘QR Codes’ have become a staple in many countries. Developed and created in Japan, QR Codes were initially designed for the vehicle manufacturing industry, and would typically contain information about a particular vehicle or part. These days, QR Codes can be encoded with any piece of small data. Usually, this is a website or telephone number.
Although most modern smart devices are capable of reading QR Codes natively, (i.e, without additional software or an app), they have shortfalls which unfortunately can’t be addressed, as the design and implementation of the codes can’t be changed. Most notable is their unattractive aesthetic. Sporadic black squares on a page are not terribly appealing, and certainly don’t fall into most brands’ style or design guides.
Secondly, QR Codes require user action; That is opening the camera, pointing it at the code and scanning. QR Codes can’t be automatically or passively read by user’s devices, often creating a clunky user experience. What’s more is that as devices age, they become slower and slower, and activating the camera is an intensive computational exercise for the device. This often results in a significant and annoying delay between when the user decides they’re going to scan a code, and when the device finally presents the code’s content to the user.
Aren’t QR Codes Being Used for Contact Tracing?
Yes. Because QR Codes are relatively easy for businesses to design and distribute, many have chosen QR Codes as the method by which they’ll collect their customers’ details for contact tracing purposes. However, as anyone can print off a QR Code, many patrons do not trust them or what data they are collecting. Disappointingly, this means many organisations’ patrons will be forced to deal with a slow, untrustworthy and less than ideal check-in experience.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! Much progress has been made in the development of other technologies that provide similar functionality to QR Codes, but with a drastically improved user experience. In fact, you probably use one of these technologies every day to buy your morning coffee, ‘tap on’ to a train or bus, or redeem your grocery store rewards.
All these experiences are based on a completely wireless and automatic technology, which utilises radio waves instead of a camera or imaging system. That technology is called ‘Near Field Communication’, or NFC.
NFC To The Rescue!
NFC drastically improves the experience when user’s decide to interact with an NFC chip, known as a ‘tag’. Instead of forcing the user to wake their device, open the camera app, wait for the camera to load, point the camera at a QR Code and scan, users can simply bring their device near an NFC tag… And that’s it We’re not kidding. It’s as simple as bringing the user’s device over the NFC tag, and immediately acting on whatever data is encoded in the tag.
When an NFC enabled device passes over one of these NFC tags, the device immediately starts communicating with that NFC chip, decoding the information that’s been stored on it. Whether that’s a website, a phone number or even a digital business card, the phone can read that information and immediately present it to the user in a matter of milliseconds.
No more waiting for a camera app to load or focus the device on an unattractive set of black dots. Users can simply wave (😉) their device over a beautifully designed NFC tag.
NFC – The Unmatched Backbone of Wavin
NFC is the central technology that powers the complete Wavin contact tracing solution, meaning users are not hassled to enter your organisation’s physical premise. In a matter of seconds, your customers, suppliers or patrons will have entered their contact details into Wavin’s highly secure contact tracing system, managed by you or your organisation’s HR / COVID Safe team.
Not only will their initial check-in and entry be faster than any other QR Code based solution, but the Wavin system remembers each individual user. So next time your customer comes to your gym, sits down for a meal, or your suppliers / contractors provide further goods & services, they’ll simply Wavin and confirm. That’s it! No more laborious contact information entry every time they visit.
Wavin – The Best Choice
Since Wavin is currently the only solution providing a seamless NFC based experience, Wavin’s technology is unmatched. Customers will enjoy the Wavin experience, and as such are more likely to return to your business or operation. Wavin also incorporates best practice privacy and security standards, meaning the information your customers or patrons provide is safe and secure, as well as easily accessible to authorities should any potential COVID-19 positive individual visit.
So, as your business begins to adjust to the new ‘COVID Normal’ world, why not give your patrons the best experience while you comply with government restrictions and keep them safe. Sign up for Wavin today and order your Wavin tags, which can be easily mounted on any ingress or egress point at your location(s).
Have a large venue or many locations? Our friendly team would love to speak to you and find out how Wavin can help manage and achieve your contact tracing needs. If that’s you, just get in touch!