The NFC Forum Sets Its Near-Term Priorities

NFC technology has broad applicability to a diverse range of industries and use cases – from health care in developing countries to access control on college campuses. With so many worthwhile opportunities to develop, it’s important to set priorities that ensure the Forum invests its time and efforts most effectively.

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The setting of those priorities began last month, when our Chairman, Koichi Tagawa, unveiled a new mission statement developed by our Board of Directors for the NFC Forum:

The NFC Forum brings the convenience of NFC technology to life. We empower organizations to deliver secure, tap-based interactions with an intuitive, reliable experience to users around the globe.

Just as this new statement crystallizes our thinking on how the Forum can best meet the needs of the evolving marketplace, we have established three areas of focus where we believe we can make the greatest impact in the near term:

  1. Payment. Perhaps the most obvious area of focus, Payment remains a fast-growing opportunity on a global basis. In just the US alone, it was recently reported that in-store mobile payments increased four-fold in the past year. We aim to accelerate this progress by focusing our efforts on ensuring a reliable and sound user experience – in effect, doing the work necessary to make contactless payments via mobile devices pervasive. Payment is also a major catalyst to new use cases in the retail sector, thus opening even more opportunity for retailers once they have made it through the first wave of NFC deployments and consumer adoption.
  2. Transportation. Public Transport has been a key market for NFC almost since the beginning. However, adoption of NFC within Public Transport varies greatly throughout the world. We are working in concert with transport consortiums worldwide to harmonize standards and increase the percentage of Public Transport Operators – and their riders – that support mobile transit access with NFC. A major component of this effort is to continue work within the team that we established last year with the Global Certification Forum (GCF), GSM Association (representing mobile operators), Smart Ticketing Alliance (STA), and CEN/TC278, the organization promoting Intelligent Transport Systems.
  3. The Internet of Things. Readers of this blog will know that NFC offers unique capabilities to IoT – particularly for unconnected devices. We are committing resources and efforts to ensuring that all constituencies in the IoT ecosystem become aware of how NFC can solve some of their biggest challenges in building out the IoT. Our goal is to make NFC an accepted element within IoT solution sets and the technology of choice for unconnected, unpowered devices.

Prioritizing our outreach in these three areas will enable us to make a greater impact in the near term. Please note they do not represent the totality of our work, which continues to include a broad range of initiatives across industries and markets. And we cannot forget that every facet of our work needs to enable interoperability and enhance the security and reliability of the devices consumers use every day.

It is safe to say that, even as we strengthen our efforts in these three areas, the progress we make in each will have the broader effect of opening new doors of opportunity for NFC in many other areas of life.

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