Five Ways NFC Could Transform Business Life
When people talk about NFC, what first comes to their minds may be mobile payment, as nowadays “mobile wallet” is a hot topic.
More and more leisure outlets, shops and transport hubs now have NFC readers at checkouts which allow customers to make an instant payment, debited either from their bank account or added to their monthly mobile service charge, by tapping their NFC-enabled handset on the NFC terminals.
No need for carrying a large wallet full of cards or fumble in pockets for cash, this solution aims to make the everyday purchase of small items such as lunch and train tickets faster and more convenient. For business people on the move, this also eliminates the need to gather paper receipts, for all transaction data – including date, time, location and amount – can be automatically logged and transmitted back to a central PC at head office for quick and efficient processing of expenses.
Time & attendance
Besides used for mobile payment, NFC can also be used for many other functions. Equipping staff with low-cost NFC handsets provides employers with an immediate system for tracking and logging attendance.
When they enter and leave an office, an NFC reader within the doorway can automatically log their arrival and departure times, relaying this data to a central point to create an accurate digital record of attendance.
Such a system may have implications for HR policy and is particularly useful where flexible working hours are in place. It may also feed information to help determine salary or overtime payments, or leave allowance.
To remote or travelling workers, NFC can help a lot. In addition to automatically “check in” at given locations, these staff can automatically receive information about tasks that should be carried out at that location as well as updates on where they should go next and work that is required.
Among those that benefits the most are hospitality, leisure and healthcare organizations, since care, cleaning, carrying or facilities management teams may be spread across a large site, or visiting numerous external locations during the course of a working day.
In terms of workforce management and rostering, this enables day-to-day schedules to be changed and updated in real time to avoid costs, time delays and unreliability associated with the exchange of phone calls.
Another significant advantage of the NFC revolution is the impact it could have on the personal safety of employees.
As NFC-equipped handsets intuitively log time and location details whenever they are in close proximity to an NFC tag or reader – whether at a shop checkout, transport hub or building entrance, for example – the organization can quickly compile a record of the employee’s movements. This could prove particularly useful for companies seeking to bolster the safety of remote staff as they move between different locations.
What’s more, when security staff perform routine checks throughout a site during the night, for example, a digital record of the security guard’s regular movement would be stored.
As is known, NFC technology exchanges information in digital format and can transmit this into a central database via software, thus the costs associated with “manual communication” are naturally cut down.
With NFC, forms and paperwork relating to payment transactions, staff rosters and attendance are dramatically reduced. The immediate and automatic exchange of data also reduces the need for phone calls, which could eliminate additional costs and delays.