NFC in India : Coming of Age?

There was a time when tapping your phone to pay for goods and services was stuff out of science fiction. It isn’t anymore. You know where we are going with this. NFC. Yes. Near Field Communication on mobile is already here, even if Apple won’t have them on their phones- yet.

In the last few months, major projects touching lakhs of people everyday, have given the thumbs up to mobile and NFC based technologies for payments and ticketing in India.

NFC : Mass Adoption?

Lets take a look at some recent progress NFC has made into our lives

  • The latest to talk about implement NFC based ticketing is the Hyderabad Metro Rail. The metro will have NFC & mobile based ticketing as well.
  • Multiplex chain PVR recently introduced tap and pay at their cinemas for BlackBerry 10 users.
  • Bangalore’s metro rail has been already using contactless smart cards based on NFC for payments since the beginning.
  • Nokia had introduced NFC-enabled way back in 2011 and partnered with the movie Ra One, as a part of their ‘Just Tap with NFC’ campaign. As a part of this campaign users had to tap their NFC enabled phones on the Ra One NFC poster in order to gain access to exclusive movie contents.
  • Nokia had also launched NFC enabled lifestyle devices like speakers along the same time.

Finnish phone maker Nokia has been a consistent NFC backer for a while. The company has been in talks with various metro projects in the country to introduce an NFC based ticketing system. It has already hinted at a sub Rs 10,000 NFC enabled phone which will be a big boost to NFC based systems (you can check if your phone has NFC in it here).

Other NFC Applications

Airlines will be able to transfer boarding pass details onto the NFC enabled phones of passengers making check in and boarding quicker. Hotels can transfer room key information onto the NFC enabled mobile, making the whole process keyless and hassle free. In fact some of the hotels have moved on from magnetic strips and are already using contactless smart cards based on NFC.

Many concert and event organisers in India are shifting to NFC based smartcard tickets to prevent counterfeiting and fraud. It has also been adapted by the entertainment and advertising industry, users can interact with movie poster and advertisements in order to access exclusive promotional contents.
With an NFC ‘Tag Writer’ available for download, users can encode blank NFC chips and use them to transmit information such as contact details, website addresses and profiles. Its a cool way to show off your geek quotient too!

The Market for NFC

A total of 1.95 billion NFC-enabled devices will ship in 2017, both handsets and CE Devices, a majority of which will be mobile devices, according to ABI Research.

Nine out of the top ten OEMs now have NFC-enabled handsets commercially available. But with with no standardisation in NFC chips, compatibility will always be an issue among device from different manufacturers.

Startups that work on NFC

Near You Technologies1. Nearyou Leading Technologies Group is an Udaipur based company dealing with NFC products from various manufacturers. They cater to retail sectors, marketing industries and individuals clientele, providing them  with front end and back end NFC solutions. Their products include Tags, Smart Posters, Smart Strips & applications.

2. Madrid based company tagitto manufactures and sells NFC tags that are customised according to the users requirements.

3. ATUCH was one of the first companies to provide NFC solutions in India, but lately its Indian store seems to have gone offline.

4. Justap a Mumbai based company has also tied up with various cinemas and retail outlets to provide them with NFC based POS services for their customers.

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