NFC Making Its Way Across the Globe

NFC is being used by innovative organizations around the world to change the way people live. Ticketing payment and sharing are just some ways that consumers will incorporate NFC into their daily lives.

Near field communication (NFC) technology is quickly spreading across the globe. Many companies have begun to embrace this futuristic way to manage customer relationships. The following real-world examples show how today's companies are making use of NFC:


Using phones to pay for train or bus fare has become incredibly popular in other parts of the world. Users can "tap in" and "tap out" at the beginning and end of their journey. Also, NFC allows users to access the latest travel information and to to check and top off their fare balances. In the United States, ISIS plans to team up with the Utah Transit Authority in Salt Lake City to offer NFC-powered payment for fares.


At the London Olympics, officials are working to create travel cards with NFC technology that will allow the Olympic village to become cashless. Also, officials are considering creating smart tickets for games that will double as payment options. Visa and Samsung are partnering to create a mobile handset equipped with a Visa SIM card that will allow visitors to make calls while in London. Some experts think that these handsets should also be equipped with NFC so that attendees can test drive the new technology.


Most mobile devices contain photos and other files that people would like to share with other mobile devices. With NFC technology, users are able to tap together devices and transmit photos, videos and music files. For instance, Google revealed Android Beam at the October Galaxy Nexus launch. Android Beam will allow phones to tap NFC-equipped devices together to share files, links and YouTube videos. Google also claims that Android Beam will be able to share group chats and enable multiplayer games.

Many companies around the world are making use of NFC for multiple purposes:

--Starbucks in China is providing a free drink upgrade coupon to people who check in via social media site Jiepang. To enable the voucher, Starbucks has to receive 30,000 check-ins by Christmas.

--Absa, a leading financial institution in South Africa, has announced that 500 of its employees will be given mobile devices that allow them to load funds onto Mastercard PayPass. The employees will then be able to pay at a point-of-sale using Absa Online or Absa ATMs

--In Australia, Woolworth's is rolling out 30,000 contactless payment terminals in over 3,000 stores. For purchases of up to A$100, customers will not have to provide a signature or a PIN.

--In Korea, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute has developed a way for merchants to stop issuing paper receipts. With NCF, customers will tap a payment terminal and automatically receive a digital receipt.

With so many uses for NCF on the horizon, companies should begin to develop strategies for how they will provide service and value to customers utilizing this remarkable technology. For today's businessses, transitioning to NCF is a matter of "when," not "if."