Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NFC - Come closer!

NFC, Near Field Communication, is today’s topic which we were inspired to write about by the very interesting guest lecture of Mr Hirt from Swiss Digital AG. 
NFC is a technology that allows to transport information securely over short distances from one mobile device to another. By engaging in this mobile transmission of data with their smartphones, customers can take an interactive role by viewing customized rich media, receiving customized special offers, share experiences and of course commit direct purchases. 

This might sound familiar to some of you, as QR (Quick Response) codes work in a similar way. The difference is that to use QR codes an app has to be downloaded first which is no longer necessary for NFC, as users can connect directly by tapping or holding the smartphone close to another phone, a credit card reading device, or against a sticker code with NFC data. 

Sticker indicating availability of NFC
QR Code

For marketing NFC offers some advantages over QR, as besides providing more content it also serves as a tool to track consumer behaviour and preferences.
The most astonishing characteristic of NFC for a marketing purpose though, we thought, was that sales promotions could be directly sent to a smartphone of a customer standing right in front of the product. If we were standing in front of for example shoes, our smartphone might receive a special offer which lets us know that we will have a 20% price reduction on shoes in the next 30min. We will therefore be more indulged to make an instant purchase.

Another advantage of NFC is the quick payments we can make by using our phone. The process is easy, as it works the same way as using a credit card. Advantages of using our smartphone also as our wallet is that we always have an overview of our balance, get an electronic receipt, and can transfer money much easier and faster. 

Two good examples of using our smartphone as a wallet are google wallet and the Post Finance app which we were introduced to by our second guest lecturer Mr. Fuhrer. from Post Finance.

With all these advantages our smartphone can offer us, from using it as a credit card to getting immediate and customized advertisements, we are convinced it will replace our wallets very soon.

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