Many businesses worldwide have started adopting Near Field Communication technology in their services and operations. These brands include Union Pay, Adidas, China Mobile, Kraft Heinz, and Japanese Airlines. Implementing NFC technology is not new, but the COVID pandemic propelled the use of NFCs to give way to contactless transactions. NFC tags and cards have helped marketers create interactive experiences for their target customers. They're also used to convey information and provide loyalty programs, among others. The increasing adoption rate of NFC technology provided various benefits to both marketers and customers, further improving their popularity. Today, NFC stickers are used in different industries, including retail, banking, financial services, and healthcare. Written below are several industries that have adopted NFC technologies and how they are using them:
RetailThe retail sector was among the earliest adopters of mobile and contactless payments. NFC is useful for contactless payment methods, but the retail sector has already moved beyond simply using the technology for contactless payments. One company, the Kroger Company, rolled out a solution to allow people to buy things and avail curbside pickup or mobile checkout service. Retailers are also using NFC technology for the following purposes:
- Integrating point-of-sale statistics to a data management platform for better ad targeting
- Sharing product information
- Offering discounts
- Marketing campaigns
Some notable uses of NFC technology include Kraft's use of RFID chips that NFC-enabled smartphones can tap to see recipe contents, access i-Food Assistant apps, or share through Facebook. Another is Adidas using NFC technology for in-store promotions.
Taxi companies have used NFC technology for years for mobile payment services to help passengers pay for their trip quickly and securely. In Turin, Italy, transportation authorities started allowing people to pay for their bus and subway journeys using the same method as taxis. Transportation companies also use NFC tags for personalised advertising.
The healthcare sector is adopting NFC tags to benefit both providers and patients. One notable use is by using the stickers to access cloud-stored medical records through an NFC-based system. Another noteworthy use is through a self-adhesive patch used for temperature taking, wherein users tap it to perform a check and send the results to a healthcare professional. Because NFC-based SOS features are now standard on many different smartphone models, people can now scan a person’s tag and raise an SOS alarm in case of an accident or emergency. The healthcare sector is seeing a more streamlined information collection and management system through the use of NFC technology.
Multiple universities in the United States are currently committed to having a system that facilitates smartphone payments. This payment scheme is effective for on- and off-campus outlets, and other applications of NFC tags are being researched. Other possible applications include attendance monitoring to streamline attendance-checking, especially for large classes.
NFC tags currently appeal to many farmers, as they can monitor the growth of their products and allow consumers to verify the authenticity of their products. In Vietnam, NFC tracking is used by banana growers to monitor fruit growth and provide supply chain visibility. Additionally, Sicilian farmers are also using NFC stickers to guarantee that their oranges are premium Sicilian blood oranges by using the combination of tags affixed to fruit crates and sensors that monitor the field of production, date of harvest, and storage and distribution methods. Apart from practical use in the fields and the supply chain, farmers in Bangladesh also received NFC-enabled debit cards that they can use to pay for things at approved outlets. NFC stickers have seen use in the agricultural sector for various purposes.
HospitalityHotels face a daunting challenge in enticing guests back during a global pandemic. However, technology could help. Some housekeepers avail of an NFC tag or wristband when cleaning rooms. That system tells them which rooms to clean and informs them of any special requests. Alternatively, contactless payment systems could streamline purchases of gift shop items, minibar products and room upgrades. Thanks to the global pandemic, the hospitality industry has faced a challenge in enticing guests to come back after lockdowns were eased. NFC technology can help with this challenge as housekeepers use NFC tags and wearables when cleaning rooms and accommodating special guest requests. NFC technology is also useful for the following:
- Cashless payments
- Easy account logging
- Room keys
- Wi-Fi access
Event organisers have always used turnstiles and barcode scanners to capture metrics on attendance and restrict access. Adapting to use NFC technologies in event management will allow organisers to issue NFC wearables that reflect the payment status of an attendee. The usual method to determine an attendee’s payment status was through lanyards that can easily be lost. Suncorp Stadium implemented NFC technology for ticketing purposes in May 2019 to offer contactless tickets on both iPhone and Apple Watch. Around 60% of all mobile ticket holders preferred the NFC tap-and-go mobile ticketing service to the usual manual ticketing system people have already been accustomed to.
Restaurants can easily get filled up with hungry customers, which is the case with many successful restaurants and fast-food establishments. Using NFC tags and NFC-enabled smartphones to streamline the process by eliminating the need to wait in line to order food and pay. Chick-Fil-A launched an NFC solution in 2019 to let people check in a location, order what they need, and have them sent to their respective tables without lining up to wait for service. Several Atlanta restaurants also adopted a similar solution by allowing customers to tap their phones to a sticker to see the menu items, order, and pay. By adopting NFC technologies, restaurants can also cut down on touched shared surfaces to mitigate the risk of getting infected with COVID-19.