RIM and its partners expect a major societal shift following the introduction of near field communication (NFC) enabled smartphone devices, though they admit that it may take years before it reaches mass market adoption.
This observation came courtesy of RIM’s recent media panel in Sydney that was used as a platform to announce the Canadian smartphone vendor’s push into the NFC market in Australia through its range of BlackBerry devices
RIM A/NZ managing director, Adele Beachley, outlined the vendor’s commitment to NFC following the recent Australian launch of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Curve 9360, which are the first BlackBerry smartphones with built-in NFC capabilities
Beachley foresees the renowned security of the BlackBerry as being very important in generating interest and trust around NFC, especially for ecommerce and beyond.
IDC associate director of telecommunications and services, Dustin Kehoe, spoke about the feasibility of NFC and how it has already experienced successful adoption in countries such as Japan and South Korea.
While he admitted that there has been a lot of development into NFC in established markets and less in developing ones, he still expects the Australian market to bring about its own set of opportunities and challenges for the adoption of the technology, emphasising that it is “all about getting it right.”
To help roll out NFC technology in the Australian market, RIM has partnered with Tapit, a Sydney-based NFC marketing company, to launch a local campaign that makes use of and promote NFC.
Tapit CEO and founder, Jamie Conyngham, was on the media panel to give his view on NFC and its chances in Australia, as well as forecasting potential changes to the mobile marketplace.
Conyngham is convinced that most handsets will be NFC enabled in the near future, leading to NFC becoming a “mass market proposition.”
In addition to predicting the end of credit cards and print brochures, he expects that NFC will succeed where QR codes have failed in that it is a “simpler and more intuitive technology” for interacting with content.
Visa Asia-Pacific director of innovation and emerging products, Ben Pfisterer, announced that Visa has a big stake in seeing NFC succeed, considering it would provide them with a new avenue for mobile payment.
Pfisterer sees NFC as a “key part of the Visa roadmap,” and is also keen to see where it goes beyond payment.
With Coles supermarkets to soon accept Visa PayWave cards, NFC is already forming a significant part of Visa’s push towards a new way of paying for goods and services.
While Pfisterer believes the market is ready for NFC, he still foresees a lot of work that still needs to be done, though there has already been “a lot of progress” in building the relevant infrastructure.
Visa is keen to see NFC succeed in Australia and the “ecosystem coming together” to deploy the technology broadly and in a timely fashion.
RIM recently held an enterprise app showcase that featured Australian app developers to demonstrate how BlackBerry customers use enterprise app solutions tailored for their business.