Near field communication (NFC) is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters. This is the definition according to Wikipedia – a mouth full, but what is it actually and what is the relevance of it in an African Market?
In an effort to assist the industry to understand the technology and its possible applications in our retail sector we gathered three different industry thought leaders and asked them to help unpack NFC. The conversation was conceptualised by BizRadio and NetDynamix and hosted by Posterscope SA.
The Blogger/Communications strategist Dr Sarah Britten;
The Boffin Arthur Goldstuck MD World Wide Worx / editor gadget.co.za
The Billboard Man Craig Page-Lee; designer, architect, retail specialist and MD of Posterscope SA
Click HERE to listen to the full discussion.
What is NFC really?
“It’s just a transmitter of information that has been placed inside a chip and transmits information from one device to another.” Arthur Goldstuck
What is the relevance of NFC and how is it being used?
“The companies who make the chips that go into cell phones for NFC are the only one’s making money from NFC right now.” – Arthur Goldstuck
Is this the new way to engage with the consumer?
“We will see a radical take up of this technology in a very short time – this is a real way to bring the digital and real world together.” – Craig Page-Lee
“For marketers NFC is finally a way to join the dots between consumer and brand.” – Sarah Britten
If NFC worked tomorrow what would the impact be on marketing strategies?
“It would make marketers lives so much easier.” – Sarah Britten
“We will see a fundamental shift in the makeup of the Agency model going forward forging a closer working relationships between digital agencies and specialist OOH (out of home) agencies.” – Craig Page-Lee
What does NFC mean to the world of research?
“It has tremendous implications, however the big concern would be how to integrate all the various forms and platforms with actual data output.“ – Arthur Goldstuck
“The media industry as it is now lacks a good understanding of data, the efficacy of the channel and the reach of those channels. Too many bodies in the OOH arena are not even reporting on the sector – it’s a mess and we all need to get onto the same page in terms of research and data interpretation.” – Craig Page-Lee
Is there a competing technology to NFC?
“RFID (radio frequency identification) is similar and has been in use in the retail sector for a number of years.” – Arthur Goldstuck
“A combination of NFC and RFID would be the opportunity to truly engage with consumers – but that technology has not yet been born.” – Craig Page-Lee
“Combining these two technologies will certainly allow people to track exactly where your food comes from – this would have been a great tool in the recent meat scandal. People want to know the origin of things.” – Sarah Britten
Does NFC have a future on the African continent?
“Yes, but how big that future is still to be seen.” – Arthur Goldstuck
“The digital impact for small businesses is going to be massive – we don’t want to know how it works, we just want it to work.” – Sarah Britten
“When we are comfortable and we understand the benefits of payment gate-ways then we will see a much higher take-up on NFC.” –Craig Page-Lee