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  • Editing Team 18:21 on December 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: market,   

    NFC Market to Reach Over Ten Billion US Dollar in 2016 

    According to a recent report from MarketsandMarkets, NFC market will reach more than ten billions US dollar in 2016, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 38% from 2011.

    Major NFC applications include mobile payment, ticketing, data sharing, access control, advertisement and others.

    MarketsandMarkets expects that mobile payment will be the main application of NFC from 2011 to 2016, which drives the development of smart card market. At present, security and lack of standards are two main obstacles for the development of NFC payment.

    NFC industry includes NFC chips, NFC tags, NFC readers, NFC-SD cards, NFC-SIM cards, etc. In general, NFC market is highly dispersed. For example, NXP takes up more than 80% in the NFC chip market while there is no leading manufacturer in the tag market. With more and more NFC-enabled devices come into the market, there will be less demands for NFC-SD cards and NFC-SIM cards in the future.

     
  • Editing Team 17:04 on October 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: market,   

    GSMA Boss Is Optimistic about NFC Growth 

    GSMA-NFC-growth-rfid-blog

    This year’s GSMA NFC & Mobile Money Summit was held from Oct. 14th to 17th. Anne Bouverot, director-general of the GSMA, opened this year’s event with a declaration that NFC is finally starting to achieve scale and commercial success.

    “Mobile NFC provides a critical link between our digital life on our smartphone and the connected world around us, as it becomes the primary tool to carry our wallet, identity, keys, music, books, photos, tickets, loyalty cards, mail, itinerary and much more,” said Bouverot.

    She pointed to commercial deployments in countries such as Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Poland, Singapore, Turkey and across Western Europe. “We expect to see successful deployments in around 10 additional countries in the first quarter of 2014,” she noted. “Operators are enabling their mobile customers with exciting and innovative mobile NFC services, working alongside companies in the banking, retailing and transport sectors.”

    Despite industry skepticism surrounding the potential of the much-hyped technology, Bouverot is adamant that demand for NFC is growing globally. “More than 70 million NFC SIM cards have been shipped to operators as of the middle of 2013, according to the SIM Alliance,” she stated. “Shipments in 2012 grew 87 per cent from the previous year. While Japan, Korea, and Western Europe have dominated SIM shipments to date, North America is gearing up.”

    Bouverot also sees NFC being used for a wide range of applications beyond mobile payments. “For instance, an NFC-enabled rail ticket might make your handset vibrate when your train has arrived in the station,” she suggested. “In a retail store, your NFC handset could remind you about any relevant vouchers you have and offer to redeem them when you reach checkout. And mobile NFC is digitizing ticketing, payments, vouchers, loyalty programs, access control or even the simple act of exchanging business cards. This saves us time and money and enriches our lives.”

     
  • Editing Team 09:47 on August 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    One Third of Smartphones Sold Globally This Year Will Support NFC 

    New report from Strategy Analytics shows that the number of NFC phones shipped will increase 156% in 2013 to a total of 400 million devices globally, which means that 1/3 of the smartphones sold globally this year will support NFC.

    “The drivers for this are falling prices for NFC technology, making it more affordable to integrate into devices, support from key vendors such as Google, Samsung, Apple, and Nokia and influential mobile trade body the GSMA.” said Ken Hyers, author of the report.

    “What we are not seeing yet is strong consumer-side demand for NFC solutions. This is sort of a chicken-and-egg issue; until the installed base of NFC-capable devices is large enough, there’s not enough consumer demand.”

    “By the end of 2013 there will be nearly 400 million NFC-capable smartphones in people’s hands — that’s around 5% of the world’s total population — and that does create a large enough installed base for developers to create the contactless payment applications, mobile wallet services, integrate NFC into connected home and car products and develop other innovative services that will spark consumer demand for NFC.”

    He added: “The installed base will be largest in the Asia Pacific region — particularly Japan and South Korea, followed by North America and Western Europe. Longer term, we see Africa and other emerging markets becoming more important as NFC-supported mobile payment solutions make it easier for consumers to engage in mobile banking and shopping.”

    “Personally, I think that NFC-related services, and more generally smartphone apps, for emerging markets are most exciting. Here in the developed world where everyone is connected through multiple devices, we have no shortage of avenues for banking, entertainment, etc. In developing markets, there’s a greater need for connected services that allow for the free flow of information and payments, and NFC could be a key tool that helps folks to exchange that information.”

     
  • Editing Team 13:42 on November 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Proximity marketing: NFC vs. Bluetooth & Wi-Fi 

    Near Field Communication (NFC) has been making its way into every aspect of life. For example, NFC tags are embedded in products or on posters and signature. These tags can open a mobile browser in an NFC-enabled device to transmit an offer or message. User simply needs to tap his/her smartphone to the tag to start the communication and receive the transmission wirelessly.

    NFC technology is perhaps mostly used as a mobile payment tool, such as the Google Wallet, which allows wireless payment via a smartphone app. But it’s also starting to appear as a proximity marketing tool in places like city bus stops, subway platforms, shopping mall kiosks and other venues to transmit advertising messages. With NFC in place, retailers have a more convenient way to communicate with consumers in a proximity marketing setting.

    Currently, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are the primary platforms which are used to transmit proximity marketing messages, but some analysts expect NFC to become a competitive rival. Some even believe that NFC will eventually overtake other proximity marketing communication methods and become the dominant means.

    However, there are significant obstacles:

    ■To use the NFC tag to receive messages, users may have to download an app, while virtually every smartphone already comes equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities.

    ■Another potential barrier is that NFC ad campaigns require consumers to initiate the engagement. First, they have to read the poster or sign, and then they have to decide to tap their device to receive the message. Since many consumers are already engaged with content on their devices in public spaces, they are less likely to notice the invitation to receive the message.

    ■Besides, since NFC has a limited transmission field, consumers must not only notice the printed ad and decide to make the connection, they must get close enough to the NFC tag to initiate the message. So it’s an open question whether or not consumers will be willing to read and respond to advertising messages that require that level of effort on their part.

    In contrast, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-based proximity marketing campaigns use a technology that is already standard on nearly all handsets to deliver an opt-in message directly to the device that consumers already use for most of their communications on the go. Consumers are not required to initiate the transmission; instead, a well-designed Bluetooth/Wi-Fi campaign sends a message to all consumers who came within a range as far away as 300 feet. Consumers who opt to receive the marketing message can do so by simply touching their device screen.

    Bluetooth is a ubiquitous wireless data sharing tool pre-installed on practically all smartphones, and consumers are now used to using Wi-Fi in public places. Both technologies are familiar. Consumers generally consider that they can safely receive messages via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi without unwittingly transmitting private data. This familiarity gives Bluetooth and Wi-Fi a distinct advantage over competing technologies when it comes to proximity marketing.

    So perhaps it’s not so wise to ask whether or not NFC will overtake Bluetooth and Wi-Fi — who says there can’t be multiple methods of conveying proximity marketing messages to consumers?

    Among a number of methods to conveying messages — including print, radio and online ads, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are particularly effective in the proximity marketing space, because they initiate communication via a tool — the smartphone — to which consumers reliably and voluntarily devote their attention. But since NFC brings a lot of conveniences and is getting more and more popular, there’s no reason enterprises can’t take an “all of the above” approach. After all, the key is to examine potential ROI and make the right decision.

     
  • Editing Team 07:33 on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    NXP Releases New NFC Tag Chips 

    NXP-NFC-tag-chips-NTAG21x-RFID-blogTo provide greater flexibility to the fast-growing NFC market, NXP Semiconductors has developed a new series of NFC HF passive RFID chips, which can support such functions as tracking which NFC tags are being used at any given time, off-line authentication via a digital signature, and the ability for a tag to count the number of times it is read.

    The company has been focusing on NFC technology development for several years, initially with chips for RFID readers embedded in mobile phones and tablets. According to Giancarlo Cutrignelli, NXP’s global marketing manager, the firm has so far sold 100 million such chips for NFC-enabled reader devices. “The market has shown tremendous growth” during the past year, he says. But NXP found that there was a shortage of NFC tag chips which are able to meet the diverse requirements of the NFC applications being launched worldwide.

    Now, the second generation of its NFC tag chips — the four chips within the new NTAG21x family — will enable the development of new tags with greater functionality to meet the diverse needs of NFC technology users.

    The four chips have varying amounts of memory:

    ■The NTAG210 chip, with just 48 bytes of user memory, is the least expensive. It is intended for the mass-market use case of tags requiring only a very simple function, such as directing a smartphone or other RFID-reading device to a URL.

    ■The NTAG213 model has 144 bytes of memory.

    ■The NTAG215 version has 504 bytes.

    ■The NTAG216 chip, at 888 bytes, has the most memory.

    All of these come with functionality that includes mirroring, a serialization service to enable that mirroring, and a counter function to count read taps and authentication signatures for authentication applications that can be read off-line by any NFC reader.

    NXP also offers a fifth chip, the NTAG 216F model, which is a version of the NTAG 216 chip that provides password protection and sleep mode.

    With all of these functions, Cutrignelli says, “We want to demonstrate that while payment is a relevant application for NFC, it is not the only application. It’s a clear commitment of NXP to proceed in the development of NFC non-payment applications.”

    NXP is now taking orders for its new chips, but the price remains unknown.

     
  • Editing Team 08:33 on October 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Why Should Retailers Adopt RFID? 

    retailer-tag-rfid-blogMany retailers may have a common concern: when it comes to RFID, am I ahead of, behind or out of the game? Clearly, RFID adoption is on their minds.

    In order to be competitive in the marketplace, retailers must have high inventory accuracy. According to studies from Auburn University and the University of Arkansas, RFID can improve inventory accuracy from an industry average of 60% or less to more than 95%. And if retailers can improve the inventory accuracy to 95%, many retail problems are solved or reduced — out-of-stocks go down, safety stock or unnecessary stock declines, and sales and/or margins improve.

    Now the answers to the retailers’ question are clear: If you have fully deployed RFID throughout your stores — tagging all items in all stores — you are ahead. If you have not started considering potential uses for RFID in your stores, you are behind.

    Over the past few years, there have been a significant number of retailers adopting RFID, particularly those in apparel (both specialty and department stores). Yet the number of retailers not deploying the technology is still large, too.

    However, the fact is that any retailer without RFID has an inventory accuracy problem. Many retailers know they have a problem but do not want to admit it, while others even fail to realize it — they look at existing data and assume all is well, yet in fact they are relying on bad information. There are still some retailers who realize they have a problem and spend lots of resources trying to correct it. They typically hire more workers to manually scan the barcodes on items, which is expensive and inefficient.

    To solve a problem, one needs to acknowledge the problem. Then good data is needed to fix the problem. Finally it comes to addressing the related cost concerns. Tracking items with RFID provides good data and is more cost-effective than increasing labor resources.

    In the near future, retailers will require RFID to be competitive. It’s time for all retailers to ask, “Am I using or planning to use RFID to improve inventory accuracy?” If the answer is no, it’s time to take steps to get into the game.

     
  • Editing Team 12:29 on October 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Is NFC the Next Bluetooth? 

    Bluetooth-NFC-market-rfid-blogNXP Semiconductors is going to reach nearly $1 billion of annual sales revenue in identification chips. In the second quarter of 2012, NXP’s ID chip business unit hit $234 million in sales, which makes up 21.4% of NXP’s total for the quarter, up 20.6% on the same quarter a year before. A significant part of the identification market is based on NFC technology which builds on RFID technology.

    The two technologies cover such applications as electronic passports, contactless bank cards, transportation ticketing cards, ID tags for retail, commercial and industrial applications along with associated readers and mobile applications. NXP claims that it leads each of these markets.

    NXP estimates about 100 million cell phones to be shipped with NFC in 2012, according to Alexander Rensink, director of strategic marketing for NXP’s identification business unit. Put it another way, nine out of the top ten smartphone vendors are shipping NFC-enabled devices and NXP supplies eight out of the nine. The result is 90% penetration for NXP in NFC-enabled mobile handsets.

    Rensink describes the market this way: Between 2011 and 2016, 2.2 billion NFC-enabled devices will be shipped and the largest sector by far will be handsets. NXP already has NFC chips designed into 200 smartphone models and tablet computers and only about 80 of them (40%) are in volume production, Rensink said.

    The big driver for NFC-enabled mobile phones is the prospect of using the cell phones for transactions. But Rensink believes there is a lot more to NFC than just providing a means for transferring funds. “NFC can be used in coupling the physical world to the virtual,” he said.

    Other applications include possibilities: stickers on posters and magazine ads that provide additional information and URLs when users scan codes with their phones; stickers on toys and action figures that can enable an online experience based on the physical toy; and NFC in white goods and smart clothing.

    All this may be possible, but none of these sound like killer apps.

    To some extent, NFC is similar to Bluetooth, a technology standard for exchanging data over short distances. It was invented in the early 1990s by Ericsson and quickly became essential for mobile phone and eventually computer makers.

    So is NFC the new Bluetooth? Millions of chips shipped, but rarely to be used?

    NXP’s Rensink replies: “NFC does get used.” The Google Wallet initiative, which NXP contributed in 2011, has moved forward to version 1.5. “Many other payment initiatives are being trialed and rolled out,” Rensink added. “We are still in the early days” more applications are in the pipeline.

    We are likely in the early days of a Bluetooth-style roll-out for NFC. If the technology can find a niche in the Internet of Things and wireless sensor networks, it may yet prove to be useful.

    Either way, chip volumes look to be enormous for smartphones alone, where NXP is leading. And by the way, Apple is the tenth smartphone company that has yet to design NFC into its smartphones.

     
  • Editing Team 14:56 on October 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Vodafone Italia Trials NFC Payments in Milan with MasterCard 

    Vodafone-Italia-trial-NFC-mobile-payments-Milan-MasterCard-rfid-blogAll carriers in Europe are racing to begin a mobile payments trial. So is Vodafone Italia. The company is working with MasterCard on the project kicked off in Milan, which will entail the production of NFC SIM cards bearing the telco’s Smart Pass pre-paid product.

    The Smart Pass card, launched in January, 2012, is claimed to have around 100,000 customers, according to the company. It can be used to make regular and contactless payments at the cash register as well as for online shopping.

    The initial trials are viewed by Vodafone as “a decisive step” in Italian mobile payments. They will take place in Milan, where MasterCard has a sizeable estate of PayPass terminals installed. The card scheme claims to have 10,000 contactless touchpoints available across Italy, with plans to increase the number to 150,000 tills by the end of 2013.

    In February, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo announced plans to pilot small-scale internal trials of contactless mobile payments in Milan and Turin in partnership with wireless operator Nòverca. The bank provided the 600 pilot participants — who also include employees of the universities of Milan and Turin — with Samsung Wave S5780 smartphones for the duration of the project.

     
  • Editing Team 21:51 on October 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    MyClear Partners with Smartag on an NFC Ecosystem for Malaysia 

    MyClear-Smartag-NFC-payment-Malaysia-rfid-blogElectronic Clearing Corp Sdn Bhd (MyClear) will collaborate with Smartag on the development of a near field communication (NFC) ecosystem for Malaysia.

    MyClear chairman, Datuk Ooi Sang Kuang, said the company looked forward to exploring the various opportunities to be offered by leveraging on NFC technology as a means to provide more convenient and efficient mobile payment services nationally.

    “We are excited at the prospect of working with Smartag towards adding more channels to complement our existing products and services, in line with the recommendation of Bank Negara Malaysia’s Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020,” he said in a statement.

    Under the collaboration, MyClear and Smartag will work towards developing a value proposition on the project and will undertake the necessary efforts to establish a nationwide NFC ecosystem, which is an initiative under Digital Malaysia.

    Smartag chairman Datuk Abdul Hamed Sepawi said the company was pleased to be able to collaborate with MyClear to actively involve in this process of promoting NFC ecosystem and creating greater awareness and understanding of the NFC technology’s applications and benefit.

    Meanwhile, Multimedia Development Corp chief executive officer said the implementation of the NFC ecosystem under the partnership would pave the way for Malaysia to develop a trusted national platform that enables consumers to transact securely and confidently.

     
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