What is NFC Technology?

‘Near Field Communication’ or NFC is not a new technology, however over the next couple of years, expect to hear a lot of noise around how this is being integrated into the market.

NFC is a type of technology, similar to radio communications such as Bluetooth, which allows devices within a close proximity of each other to communicate. To enable this connectivity, devices (typically smart phones) must be equipped with an NFC antenna or a specially programmed sim/data card.

What’s popular about NFC compared to similar technologies is its ease of use.

With NFC technology, all that’s required is a ‘tap’, compare this to the much talked about QR codes which require the opening of the phones camera, a photograph and a scan using an application.

As of today, more and more mobile phone producers are ensuring that future plans for products include this technology.

The most buzzed about opportunity with NFC is the ability to make wireless payments through mobiles. No longer will you need to carry around cash or credit cards, simply wave your mobile phone over a certain payment hub or kiosk to make a purchase. Last year Google launched an amazing video which showed exactly what this looks like using their Google Wallet application.

For businesses this technology brings with it a range of opportunities. If you are a company which focuses on providing customers with convenience, ensuring you are able to accept NFC payments should be high on the priority list to reduce checkout time and ease of purchase.

If your company is focused on customer loyalty and retention, NFC technology could provide your customers with offers and loyalty information when payments are processed.

Tracking of NFC payments will also help companies create databases, analyse certain marketing campaigns, and identify key customer metrics and purchasing habits.

Within New Zealand, there have already been partnering between Telco and credit card processing companies such as Visa and MasterCard to provide NFC services to their respective customer bases. However these services are yet to be released to the public and are expected to be rolled out over 2013.

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