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NFC – additional features or gadget?

Gliwice, Poland, October, 24, 2014
By Rafael Moucka, Chairman of the Board, POSITIVE POWER

Smartphones as a tool to regulate payments? ID badge, collecting points from loyalty programs, business cards in your phone and…a lot more? Of couse – thanks to NFC technology.

Near Field Communication is nothing but ability to share data between two devices or device and tag. Often used in mobile phones, recently has a real application to marketing and promotional activities.

From marketing point of view this technology has enormous potential and gives unlimited advertasing and sales possibilities.
Increasingly NFC in your mobile enables to buy a ticket in public transport, replaces ID badge at work or proverbial business card. And even we have heard about this technology for a long time, for a short while we notice ( and use!) its huge potential and commercial opportunities.
Increasingly popular are thus mobile applications based on NFC that are not only a great advert and identification mark, but also a practical solution that meets user’s expecatations and needs.

Particularly significant for advertising aspect of NFC are tags. These small devices are equipped with programmed information. They can be placed anywhere – from posters to shop shelves. Application is extremely easy – a touch tag gives access to additional information – web address, photos, product information, video etc. What is more, it is possible to change settings in your smartphone ( mute in specific places or institutions ) or automatic check-in in social media. Who won’t remember about a place, where it is possible to switch on free wifi only after setting a phone to a tag?
Another complex solutions – creating tag that enables to change settings in your mobile and individual adapting it for our expectations within created for those needs application. This way we can fast and effectively change settings in our mobile phones and modify tags according to our needs.

There are plenty of ways of NFC applications. Besides traditional data exchange between individual users ( music files, video or contacts) there are many commercial NFC application. It is worth to look at the most interesting of them.

Loyalty programs
Increasingly popular is to use NFC in a commerce – particularly apps based on loyalty program. The users can e.g. collect the points in one place. What is important, you have to only bring your phone closer the counter with the tag and don’t need a thousand of cards in your wallet anymore.

The practical use of NFC technology is reflected also in advert. Impressive character of those solutions makes them not only useful and, by the way, promotional, but also they are also a tool consciously used in advertising. The example are even tags placed on banners, advertising posters or around the products, on the shop shelves. What is more, placed on them data can increase attractiveness as well as redirect to the specified by us content, e.g. promotional movies. Interesting example is Red Bull campaign, promoting music event. Thanks to tags in citylights users via NFC were redirected to mobile website, where, in turn, they could listen to competing in the ranking tracks and then vote for them.

Nowadays almost everybody promotes contactless payments. Implemented via payment cards, today using mobile phones, are successful. Thanks to adapted to such services SIM cards, our phone starts functioning as a virtual “wallet” that we can use according to our needs – providing particular payment cards. Using contactless payment standard in smartphones we can pay almost everywhere. Interesting project implemented in Poland were railway tickets in NFC standard for Koleje Mazowieckie – everybody could buy a ticket after contacting a phone with a poster and confirming a transaction with a PIN code.

Using NFC is also popular is different accessories such as headphones or wireless loudspeakers. Setting them to the phone makes the music automatically playing. The possibilities are unlimited – connecting functionalities (even loudspeakers playing the music and charging your phone at the same time) in time becomes more and more popular.

The number of mobile phones equipped with NFC standard is still rising. Some say that it slowly becomes a standard. According to estimates in 2015 the number of those devices can reach over 540 mln! Of course, thare are also NFC sceptics that charge it with duplicating the properties of QR codes. You can’t, however, deny the fact NFC is much more comfortable – you don’t have to take a photo, match the light and start a special application – just close your phone. Thus sooner or later NFC probably becomes a standard communication channel and distribution of goods and services.

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