Ironing out the NFC wrinkles

It has taken longer than supporters had hoped, but Near Field Communication (NFC) is on its way to becoming a part of daily life.

Near Field Communication (NFC) could soon become a part of most people's lives, but it's not there yet.  Although Peter Preuss, Chairman of the NFC Forum Marketing Committee points to 100 projects around the world and to the fact that a new project comes in almost every week, those projects are mostly still only pilots.

As Preuss says, "This is a young technology; Bluetooth didn't take off in just one or two years."

NFC communication can be encrypted, and that has opened up the possibility of using it for ticketing and banking. In rural India, for example, a mobile phone contains all the villagers' banking data, and villagers identify themselves using NFC smartcards.  That way a bank "branch" can be set up for around $650, bringing financial services to rural areas for the first time.

Most handset manufacturers have just a couple of NFC equipped models, and the gap is being filled partly by so-called NFC stickers – tags which can be stuck on the backs of phones, but which are really little more than contactless cards.

Stickers are proving popular for loyalty schemes, where you get a sticker instead of a card.

The advantage to the merchant is that many of the barriers to joining schemes are lifted – no forms for the consumer, and no fat wallet – and merchants do not have to administer membership details.

Read the entire article at ASSA ABLOY Future Lab.