Why NFC Has Just Become Super-Attractive - for All
NFC is not the next big thing. It’s THE big thing, right now. If you’re selling physical products to consumers, you should be aware of it. And if you’re into higher-value or branded products, you should consider deploying it – especially in the light of iOS 13.
NFC is a magnificent technology that offers virtually endless possibilities for smart and connected products, enabling many applications such as enhanced consumer engagement and brand loyalty, secure product authentication and instant ordering – all at the tap of a smartphone.
Apple and NFC: A Happy-ending Story with iOS 13
Did we say smartphone? Yes, because until recently, we couldn’t have really included iPhones when discussing smartphones with NFC interfaces. But that has changed: one year ago, Apple enabled users to scan NFC tags using background tag reading, abolishing the need for a dedicated app. And now with the all-new iOS 13, NFC support has been profoundly enhanced, and these enhancements will impact every industry that either already uses or is considering using NFC for a broad variety of valuable consumer- and business-related use cases. In other words, with comprehensive NFC support in iOS 13’s Core NFC Framework, NFC can now realize its full potential.
So, What Does This Mean?
Developers are being given the tools they need to create apps that can not only read NFC tags, but also write directly to blank tags, as well as interact with tags through native protocols.
At its World-Wide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) in June 2019, Apple showcased this during an on-stage presentation in which it created an NFC-based system for product description, purchase and promotion for an imaginary entity called the Great Fish Company. The demo showed how to use tags across the retail journey, including the provision of product information, payment, and coupon distribution. Apple also confirmed support for NFC stickers. These make it possible for retailers to accept payments without the use of a terminal or app – and for consumers to pay without an extra registration or specific app.
Just before WWDC, Apple’s Vice President of Internet Services, Jennifer Bailey, pointed out some ways this might be used, including wireless card payments at parking meters (see our story about Honk), scooter hire payments, and innovative new retail technologies. To round that off, Apple has also indicated that iOS 13’s new NFC capabilities will make it possible for retailers to create instant sign-up to their loyalty programs.
This Confirms B2C Market Focus
With iOS13 being in the rollout phase, one thing seems to be very clear. The new iPhone operating system has the potential -- and Apple the market reach -- not only to further boost the importance of NFC, but also to fundamentally transform consumer applications such as payment, customer experiences pre- and post-sale, and secure product authentication across many industries. And Smartrac has already proven that it has the most efficient and up-to-date NFC technology to support driving that change.