Synqera treats its home turf of Russia as a proving ground for new point of sale technology, but it has global ambitions.

"When we launched our product to the market, we did believe that our solution would have high potential in the U.S. and Europe, as those two countries are customer-centric," says Ekaterina Savchenko, head of marketing at Synqera.  Synqera also plans to test its products in Brazil and Argentina, Savchenko says.

Synqera's Simplate is a Near Field Communication-based terminal that collects customer preferences, demographics and purchasing behavior in real time. It also uses facial recognition software to detect the customer's sex, age and mood. The tablet-based system also asks questions on a consumer-facing screen during checkout.

Synqera recently deployed Simplate at Land, a Russian premium supermarket chain.

"Being on the edge with acceptance of innovative technologies is crucial for us in order to better serve our customers and stand out from the competitors," says Ilya Shtrom, general director at Land.

Three of Land's 10 stores in Saint Petersburg are currently piloting Synqera's Simplate, Shtrom says. The company has received positive feedback from employees and customers, Shtrom says.

"Initially for Land, Simplate will collect and analyze real-time customer feedback via an interactive survey on customer satisfaction," says Savchenko. "Planned for the near future, Simplate will interactively recommend relevant products for shoppers to add to their basket, also providing in-store coupons and targeted offers prior to finalizing their purchases."

Synqera also plans to provide Land with Loyalty Generators, which are kiosks that go at the front of stores and can print out personalized product recommendations before customers start shopping, Savchenko says.

"This increases overall basket size for grocers, while also providing an easy yet comprehensive marketing tool for recommended brand switching, product promotions and upselling specific products," she says.

The program will also be able to generate themed shopping lists, which provide price comparisons and special offers. It will also collect country-specific recipes with grocer-recommended ingredients and brands.

Russia is attracting more activity in payments technology, despite having a complex infrastructure. In November, Western Union enabled Web payments in the country. The same month, i-Free, a Russian mobile technology developer, started expanding its NFC-based payment services. And more recently, cross channel payments provider Qiwi acquired the Blestgroup Enterprises Ltd., a terminal company.

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