Non-payment applications may drive the adoption of NFC technology, according to a report from IDTechEx. NFC has, since its inception, been viewed as a technology that could revolutionize payments, but implementations of the technology beyond payments have been sparse.
IDTechEx’s report, entitled “Near Field Communication (NFC) 2014-2024,” points out that mobile phones not only possess the most significant potential for NFC, but are also a primary focal point of the technology.
Unfortunately for NFC, and its proponents, a significant segment of the public remains unconvinced about NFC’s speed as compared to smart cards. Meanwhile, the report reveals additional worry over the difficulty of using contactless payment cards – specifically those emulated in an NFC phone or tablet – in closed-loop transport systems where it is not a single transaction but an entry-and-exit transaction. This would require knowledge of location and therefore distance travelled on railways and subways in particular.
Solutions to this issue are already in use, in fact, you need not look any further than Chicago’s Cubic system. Cubic expects a significant percentage of transportation ticketing will be conducted using NFC mobile phones in the future.
While payments may have been the hallmark use case for NFC to this point, it is easy to see how the technology could prove useful in other facets of daily life.
Also expressing belief in NFC beyond payments is consultancy firm Intelling. The company’s latest Smart Insights Report, conducted in association with the French National RFID Center (CNRFID), offers valuable insight into a variety of NFC markets including transportation, retail, marketing services and industrial applications.
Intelling’s report, entitled “NFC applications beyond payment to boost adoption,” suggests that the wide availability of NFC handsets, along with the launch of many payment and non-payment services, means that the NFC infrastructure is now ready for the development of new services and mass adoption.
There are, as Intelling points out, a number of avenues for NFC beyond payments: retail, loyalty and marketing, transport, automotive, health care, gaming, consumer services, industrial services, government identity, enterprise internal services and smart cities just to name a few. Intelling’s Smart Insights Report examines each of these segments, detailing the specifics of each market, identifying use cases and major players in each market segment and the factors that will propel the development of each market segment. Also included in the report are market forecasts for each segment that indicate the value and influence of non-payment NFC applications in the context of the larger, global development of the NFC ecosystem.
Intelling’s report illustrates how NFC, as a technology, is versatile and easy to use, traits that will make applications beyond payments key to advancing both the technology’s adoption and the development of a global NFC infrastructure.
“The NFC technology community has been focusing on payment applications for years, but this report demonstrates that the wealth of applications brought by NFC goes way beyond the payment use case,” says Thierry Spanjaard, CEO of Smart Insights. “Now that NFC handsets are widely available we are witnessing a fast development of applications in all market segments, especially for retail, transportation and consumer electronics.”