Major Companies in NFC Technologies

Near field communication refers to short distance communication and it can work in reader/writer mode or peer-to-peer mode to provide card-less transactions. Currently, the technology is being used to develop “digital wallet” and expand to social networking, initiate wireless connections, keep encrypted identity documents, and share content. Via Licensing Corporation is an independent subsidiary of DLB (Dolby Laboratories), which developed a patent licensing for near field communication and some of companies which are part of NFC Forum since 2004, are Sony, Nokia, Royal Phillips Electronics, Motorola, Microsoft, and Samsung. Later, the forum was joined by more than 140 other companies to promote card-less financial transactions and some companies are also developing the transaction based business model where they may get a fee for every transaction.

In 2007, Nokia released the first commercial NFC-enabled phone and hundreds of projects were started in countries across the world to develop handsets and devices based on near field communications technology. Trials of NFC-enabled devices were made in Germany and Malaysia. Handset makers were trying to introduce “Wave and Pay” which would serve as a means of making payments instead of plastic credit cards.

Some of the major players in NFC technologies are:

Google: Google is one of the leading members of NFC forum which promotes the advancement of NFC technology. It is trying to launch near field communications chips on the Android platform. Google started contactless payment through the provision of “Google Wallet” where users can use MasterCard, City, First Data or Sprint to make mobile payments. The system is compatible with Nexus S 4G and it will support Google Prepaid Card. The new technology will enable easy payment and also provide a host of information including coupons, discounts, financial account information, and more for the users.

Microsoft, Apple, and Blackberry: Microsoft plans to add mobile payment method to its new version of O.S. According to March 2011 reports, Apple could launch iPhone with NFC-enabled technology. On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal claims that Blackberry devices will have e-wallet capabilities which may debut in the year. According to the NFC Forum marketing committee member, NFC is in pilot roll-out stage and soon it will be introduced as market roll-outs.

Amazon: Amazon is also working towards integrating the NFC-enabled mobile payment system.

Paypal: Paypal partnered with Bling Nation to install countless payment terminals since 2008. Users with a near field communications sticker on their mobile phones can swipe it to make payments or get rewards.

AT&T, T-mobile, and Verison: Mobile companies such as AT&T, T-mobile, and Verison have already partnered with NFC network “Isis” to process payment through Discover Financial Services. These companies have started taking payments through MasterCard, Visa, and American Express.

Credit Card/Mobile Companies: Many credit card companies are taking payments and ensuring payment distribution through near field communications. The process also provides payments through the tap-and-go method with the cards using NFC enabled system. Samsung Electronics markets the Nexus S phone which provides near field communications capabilities and allows NFC transactions, and Nokia is also planning to launch products with NFC-enabled features.

With all these big companies investing heavily in NFC, it can be seen that the technology will be adopted on a much larger scale in the near future.

Check out these resources on NFC.