TAPPING INTO INDIA
Even India has had its share of NFC trials. A couple of years ago, Citibank introduced a field trial with the Nokia 6212 Classic phone in Bangalore. Called ‘Citi Tap and Pay’, Citibank Mastercard Credit cardholders were given the option of buying the Nokia device which would come preloaded with the application that allowed them to make payments while receiving promotional offers and discounts.
In Hyderabad, Megasoft Ltd’s subsidiary XIUS announced an agreement with Tata DOCOMO where the latter would test XIUS’ Mobile Touch Transaction (MTT) solutions to enable subscribers to execute anytime, anywhere recharge, bill pay and download other VAS services.
In 2011, Nokia introduced Nfc-enabled devices on the Symbian Belle platform and tied up with the movie Ra.one to create a unique and engaging expe- rience. The ‘Just Tap with NFC’ campaign allowed users to visit the nearest Nokia Priority and tap their phones against the Ra.one NFC tags to access free movie content. Nokia has also introduced NFC enabled accessories to add value to its smartphones.
And Nokia is not alone. Blackberry too has brought to India a bunch of Nfc-enabled phones. RIM is also working on an Nfc-enabled application named Blackberry Tag.
“NFC is gaining popularity globally as it can be used widely in enterprise and consumer space. While NFC is already been used in e-commerce, social networking and sharing data between devices globally, it is still in a nascent stage of adoption in India. NFC as a technology is great for consumers as well as enterprises, but in a market like India the biggest challenge is infrastructure readiness for such technology to be adopted at a large scale. Especially, banks in India are yet to be equipped with technology facilities that would help augment e-commerce using NFC technologies,” says Ranjan Moses, Carrier Product manager of Research In Motion.
There are some other issues too. For instance, at the moment, one cannot pair a Nokia with a Blackberry phone over NFC. However, NFC promises to soon because an abbreviation that will be in common usage along with USB and LED.