Near Field Communications (NFC), is the exchange of information between two devices via wireless signal. For example, a wireless signal emitting from your cell phone can act as a credit card when making a purchase. In the case of a mobile wallet application, those devices would be a mobile phone and a point of sale device at a checkout counter.
NFC handsets are set to increase to about 80 million next year. Gartner estimates that that 50% of smartphones will have NFC capability by 2015.
But not all NFC revolves around mCommerce. The usage of NFC for identity documents and keycards are widely deployed.
And then theres FeliCa, is a contactless technology that is widely deployed in Asia for public transportation, access management, event ticketing, customer loyalty programs and micropayments. As of March 2011, there were over 516 million units of FeliCa IC Chips worldwide, incorporated in 346 million cards and 170 million mobile phones. Gemalto and Sony Corporation have established an agreement to provide FeliCa / Near Field Communication (NFC) solutions globally.
“With FeliCa’s proven commercial adoption particularly in the Asian markets, we strongly believe that our agreement with Sony will enable Gemalto to build the foundation for significant expansion for both companies at a global scale,” added Tan Teck-Lee, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer and Asia President of Gemalto. “Gemalto’s UpTeq NFC SIM is set to trigger the mass deployment of mobile NFC services now, while providing operators the flexibility to expand their offer in the longer term.”