Nokia India is in talks with metro rail projects in the country to introduce a Near Field Communication (NFC) focused ticketing system for its consumers, reports mydigitalfc. The report also mentions that Nokia has partnered with the mobile payment company Paymate for NFC solutions and has tied up with banks for this service. After the launch of this service, users will be able to use their phone itself as travel smart cards, thereby skipping the need for smart card.
NFC is a wireless mobile technology that allows devices to communicate with each other over short distances. These devices can be 2 mobile phones, a mobile phone and payment terminal or rather they can be any two devices where NFC chip is installed. Data transfer between the devices occurs through one of two means: either a short wave or, as is more common, a touch or tap. Currently, NFC capability is available only in smart-phones category across brands such as Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry, HTC, Google including several others.
D Shivakumar, Senior Vice President, Nokia (IMEA region) mentions that this service will enable Metro service providers to reduce hassle of long queues and other problems related with getting train tickets. “So, NFC along with mobile money service would be best solution for these problems”, said Shivkumar. However, he declined to offer any further details on the service or timing of its launch.
According to mydigitalfc report, the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd has invited bids from various banks to participate in its tender for automatic fare collection system, on July 19. As part of the bid conditions, banks have to have tie ups with other banks to enable cashless transactions and also support NFC when it is introduced. The Delhi Metro Rail project is reportedly to have started pilots of NFC-based ticketing.
Another example of NFC implementation is the launch of SBI Transit Card, in collaboration with Bangalore Metro rail service. The contactless card has an electronic chip that records distance traveled by a commuter and deducts fare when the card is swiped.
NFC standards cover communications protocols and data exchange formats, which are based on existing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) standards. The standards include ISO/IEC and those defined by the NFC Forum, which was founded in 2004 by Nokia, Philips and Sony. Ongoing London Olympics is the first major event where mobile payment system using NFC has been used for ticketing purpose.