Australia has a major opportunity to become a world class innovator in NFC (Near Field Communications) services – a technology becoming more omnipresent in Mobile phones and other swipe to pay systems, according to the Communications Council.
Already integrated into some credit and debit cards, such as Visa payWave, the introduction of NFC ‘chips’ embedded into mobiles will be a revolution in how people pay for goods and services on the go. But some handset manufacturers are holding back NFC technology in mobile phone models in Australia.
50% of all Mobile handsets are predicted to have the technology enabled by 2014 with an anticipated value of mobile payment transactions in excess of $50 billion worldwide.
In addition, given every NFC chip will be linked to an individual’s mobile phone, numerous other marketing opportunities will be created such as; accessing additional information from traditional and digital forms of advertising, delivering targeted offers to shoppers when they enter a store, or acting as contactless check-ins for social networks.
“We think there are numerous creative applications for NFC technology beyond transactional interactions. Marketing communications clients and agencies are eagerly awaiting critical mass of handsets in the marketplace so they can really start engaging consumers in these exciting new ways.” Iain McDonald, Chairman, Digital Committee.
With the Android powered Google Nexus S becoming the leading mass market NFC handset, and Samsung, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows, and Sony Ericsson all finalising plans, The Communications Council is looking to all manufacturers to accelerate release dates to propel this sector forward.
Australia is already a top 5 Mobile market due to the high penetration of smartphones, and an eager, early adopting consumer base. It is estimated that 60% of Australian Brands have rolled-out a mobile initiative to date, with over a quarter now having a web site optimised for Mobile. “The growth of Mobile marketing in Australia in the last 18 months has been rapid so we’re encouraging marketers to look at where NFC can fit into their Marketing and Customer programs, and take the connections they have with audiences to the next level” Graham Christie – Communications Council Digital committee member.