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Introducing ICT systems
Introducing ICT systems

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16.7 A loyalty card scheme

Supermarkets, and other types of retailer, use loyalty cards to encourage customers to use their particular shops. Points are awarded when a customer spends money in the shop. Supermarkets 'reward' their customers by converting loyalty card points into vouchers. They may also give them discount vouchers for a range of products.

Supermarkets use their loyalty card schemes to collect data about their customers. Data about each customer is held in a large database where each customer is identified by a unique number. This number is stored in a magnetic strip on the back of the customer's loyalty card.

When the customer presents their loyalty card at the checkout, it will be 'swiped' through a card reader to capture data from the magnetic strip. The number in the magnetic strip is read, allowing the customer to be identified. Points are added to the customer's loyalty points account once all shopping purchases have been entered into the computer.

Activity 16 (exploratory)

What personal data might the supermarket want to hold about you?

Discussion

The supermarket might want to hold basic data such as your name and address so that you can receive vouchers and other promotional material. Some supermarkets also ask for other personal information such as your telephone number, mobile number and email address.