Three Square Market (32M) is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees on August 1, 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 more than 50 staff members to be voluntarily chipped. 32M is partnering with BioHax International and Jowan Osterland, CEO, based out of Sweden.
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 breakroom market, has more than 20,000 locations and growing. 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.
“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office breakroom market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging in to our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and [being] 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.,” said 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,” said 32M vice president 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 Westby.
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, Wis., on August 1, 2017.