Three Square Market (32M) is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees on August 1st, 2017. Employees will be implanted with a RFID chip allowing them to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine, etc. This program, offered by 32M, is optional for all employees. The company is expecting over 50 staff members to be voluntarily chipped. 32M is partnering with BioHax International and Jowan Osterland.
RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification uses electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored information. Often referred to as “chip” technology, this option has become very popular in the European marketplace. The chip implant uses near-field communications (NFC); the same technology used in contactless credit cards and mobile payments. A chip is implanted between the thumb and forefinger underneath the skin within seconds.
A micro market, also known as a break room market, has become a staple in the U.S. with over 20,000 locations and growing. While in existence for over a decade in the American workplace, the international community began to embrace this only a few years ago. A micro market is a mini convenience store located right in the employee break room using a self-checkout kiosk, similar to what is found at many major retailers. Businesses see multiple benefits when adding a micro market to their location, such as increased employee morale and productivity. 32M entered this growing industry over four years ago and is rapidly growing in market share and believes this technology will help it continue this trajectory.
“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals. Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.” commented 32M CEO, Todd Westby.
“When working with our operators over in Europe, we came across a company of chipped employees at BioHax International and the concept of using RFID with micro markets quickly grew,” commented 32M VP of International Sales, Tony Danna. “We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems, much like micro markets have steadily replaced vending machines. As a leader in micro market technology, it is important that 32M continues leading the way with advancements such as chip implants” added Mr. Westby.
“The international market place is wide-open and we believe that the future trajectory of total market share is going to be driven by who captures this arena first,” said 32M COO Patrick McMullan. “Europe is far more advanced in mobile and chip technology usage than the U.S. and we are thrilled with the growth opportunity this enhancement will bring to us. Thanks to our market partners in Sweden, we met this innovative company and look forward to working with them to take our market share to another level.”
32M is envisioning this technology to help it grow its other self-checkout businesses. “We see this as another payment and identification option that not only can be used in our markets but our other self-checkout / self-service applications that we are now deploying which include convenience stores and fitness centers,” added Mr. McMullan.
Employees will be chipped at the 32M inaugural “chip party” hosted at their headquarters in River Falls, WI on August 1, 2017.