Success of NFC depends on realising potential beyond payments, industry experts agree

Success will be determined by consumer-satisfying payment and non-payment applications

The success of NFC technology will be determined by a range of consumer-satisfying payment and non-payment applications in areas such as healthcare, government, enterprise and retail, agreed experts at the NFC Solutions Summit 2012 last week in San Francisco (view press release). Around 430 industry executives convened on Wednesday and Thursday last week at the summit held jointly by the Smart Card Alliance and NFC Forum to discuss technology, hardware and applications and business services that can benefit from NFC technology.

Guy Berg, senior managing consultant for MasterCard Advisors, provided an insight into MasterCard’s commitment to assuring a good customer experience with NFC because “if you tap it and it doesn’t work, how likely are you to come back and use it again?” He explained that MasterCard has established various approval processes for handsets, secure elements, wallet user interfaces and TSMs.

Doug Morgan, CEO at C-SAM said NFC is not just about finance, but “about the integration of finance, retail, health and government.” Non-payment opportunities for NFC discussed included, physical access control, “Bring You Own Device” in the enterprise, transit and government and citizen services such as ID cards and driving licences.

Frank Maduri, senior director of mobile wallet at Research in Motion (RIM) said the company is “very bullish on NFC” and “going to put NFC on all user devices.” NFC’s main appeal, according to Maduri is its “powerful yet very simple user interface.” He says that payment, loyalty and coupons will be the first applications to take off with the technology but also sees its potential benefits in the consumer and enterprise spaces. Maduri went on to say that early consumer adoption of NFC can be initiated by simply putting emphasis on NFC applications such as “basic pairing and sharing” and tag reading and writing. 

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