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The Rise of Near Field Communication, or NFC

Kerry Guard • March 20, 2012 • 2 minutes to read

You may or may not have heard about near field communication, or NFC, as it's begun to pick up steam over the past year or so.

NFC is the technology behind Google Wallet as a mobile payment processor, specifically ...

What is NFC?

  • NFC technology is a short-range tool that operates on wireless frequencies. It works by connecting a user's mobile device, equipped with an NFC antenna or specially programmed SIM / SD data card, to a receiver to transfer money
  • Using NFC requires no set up ahead of time; you simply touch or tap your smartphone to the receiver
  • The user must be within a few feet of the receiver to create a NFC transaction

How is NFC being used?

  • Right now, a lot of the activity around NFC is in the mobile payment space
  • In the long run, NFC's capability to connect a consumer's mobile handset to the face-to-face experience of a store visit could be of value as brands look to integrate a more digital shopping experience into their customers lives

How can brands & marketers tap into NFC?

  • Marketers can use NFC to connect with consumers 'in real life', via their mobile devices
  • Imagine in-retail signage that prompts users to check their smartphone for a coupon, deal or offer that is redeemable immediately
    • Connecting user data from a 'mobile wallet', as Google dubs their NFC product, to create a custom- tailored shopping experience based upon  past shopping activity, demographic and geographic data
  • Based on this data, create more 'sticky', or loyal, customers that continually return to purchase good / services from your brand

Keep in mind, not all smartphones are NFC enabled

It's important to understand the number of consumers that have the appropriate NFC antenna or SIM/SD card to actually create this experience for the consumer.

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