Finding the Right Fit for NFC

NFC (near-field communication) technology is expanding its reach. In many cases, NFC is being put to use for connected retail solutions, helping people to more easily make purchases or track sales. As people become used to simply tapping their devices to make a transaction, NFC technology could have more far-reaching use cases as well.

NFC is beneficial for mobile wallets. Recently, three companies announced a mobile wallet service launching in Japan: MasterCard,, C-SAM,, and DNP, (Dai Nippon Printing Co., C-SAM provides mobile transaction technology to carriers, banks, merchants, and settlement networks, among others. DNP helps companies to develop original mobile-wallet service businesses.

The three companies developed a white-label NFC mobile wallet service in Japan. With the service in place, retailers can offer it to their customers to simplify the transaction experience, providing contactless purchases via a smartphone. The solution will use a Mobile Transaction Platform from C-SAM, MasterCard’s PayPass contactless payment solution, and DNP’s mobile wallet.

Consumers using the system will also have access to services like loyalty cards and mobile coupons. For instance, retailers could push out coupons via the solution, which customers can redeem in-store using the NFC system.

NFC can make retail easier on the consumer end, but it can also help business owners and managers to keep track of their merchandise. In the vending world, Deutsche Telekom,, is offering solutions that aim to help vending machine operators monitor and control their machines, as well as convert them to cashless payment.

The company says M2M can allow machines to automatically reorder supplies when they sense low filling levels. Operators can be alerted to burglary attempts, and data on the current cash inventory is always available.

Deutsche Telekom says existing vending machine can be upgraded with the addition of a module that transfers collected data to a server using the mobile network. The data can then be displayed on the operator’s computer, or it can be further analyzed in ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems.

In the future, Deutsche Telekom foresees adding cashless payments to machines, where customers could pay using an NFC-enabled phone.

While NFC has become prominent in retail, there are many other uses for the technology. Companies are experimenting with using NFC is industries such as automotive and healthcare. Medical sensors collect data from the body, and NFC could provide a way to transmit the information on a patient’s status.

Additionally, NFC can be used for the connected car. At 2013 CES in Las Vegas, TI (Texas Instruments,, announced the WiLink 8Q family of chips, which is says will provide in-car multimedia streaming video in parallel with Bluetooth hands-free calling. The system includes NFC technology to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth pairing with smartphones and tablets.

As NFC functionality is built into more smartphones and other devices, it will make sense to add NFC to additional services. This is true whether we are talking about retail, healthcare, automotive, or another industry.

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