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Moving Forward on the Path to NFC Adoption

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It’s a very ‘mobile’ time of year, with two of our favorite conferences lined up for the next couple of weeks – the 2013 NFC Solutions Summit and CTIA 2013.  So, it should come as no surprise that we have NFC technology on our minds.

With an emerging technology like NFC, it’s interesting to look back over the year and see how far we have come.  Last year at the NFC Solutions Summit, the lack of available NFC-enabled handsets was an issue that was cited often as the biggest barrier to NFC adoption.  In very basic terms, there are three steps to NFC adoption, with handsets the essential first step:

  1. Make NFC-enabled handsets available
  2. Introduce lots of useful and secure NFC applications for consumers
  3. Powered with NFC handsets, increasing numbers of consumers will try out NFC applications and gain confidence in the technology, leading to broader adoption

This year at the Summit, I’m expecting a different conversation, as step one can essentially be marked off the list.  ABI Research estimates that there will be more than half a billion NFC-enabled handsets available by 2014.  The handsets are here, so it’s time to focus on the next step: the applications.

What kinds of applications will consumers enjoy using most? NFC mobile payments get the most buzz, but there are numerous possibilities for NFC applications that don’t include payments at all. The ability to interact, download and exchange information with other NFC-enabled devices, smart tags and posters opens up opportunities for applications that enable more convenient transportation, next-generation retail loyalty programs, authentication and identity management, and interactive marketing.  Because many of the non-payment types of applications are easy and quick to deploy, they are great candidates to be the ones that consumers experience first to get them hooked on NFC technology.

We’ll be using our time in California at the NFC Solutions Summit to share knowledge and collaborate with our peers on this next step on the path to NFC. Some of the topics our executives will be presenting on include:  security options for various applications; lessons learned through several global rollouts of Trusted Service Manager (TSM); and the state of NFC business solutions today and opportunities for the future.

After the Summit we’ll be heading to Las Vegas for CTIA 2013. In my next blog I’ll be detailing the Mobile Communications and Machine-to-Machine innovations that we will be showcasing at the event, so watch this space! Will you be at either conference? Let me know below.

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