Near Field Communication: Just a Payment Tool? Debunking a Common NFC Myth

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Earlier this month, I sat down with Geoff from the Near Field Communications (NFC) Product Management Team at RIM to get his take on a top NFC myth we often see from our Inside BlackBerry for Business Blog readers. (FYI – the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900/9930 smartphones and BlackBerry® Curve™ 9350/9360/9370 smartphones have built-in NFC.)

Editor’s Note: About a year ago, we sat down with Geoff for the first time to get his perspective on where RIM is going in the NFC space. If you haven’t had a chance to watch Geoff’s video interview, check it out here: How to use Near Field Communication (NFC) for Business.

Debunking The Top NFC Myth: NFC is not just about mobile payments!

Popular perception seems to be that NFC is just a way to make mobile payments. Although RIM has been a key mobile payment advocate – including becoming among the first smartphones to be certified by MasterCard® and Visa® for NFC-based payments and working with EnStream in Canada – this capability was merely a stepping stone to a BlackBerry presence in the NFC space. Mobile payment capability is just one part of NFC technology’s true potential.

With BlackBerry solutions, our vision is that NFC will become part of daily life, saving people bits of time wherever they are. The ability to pay for things, securely access the workplace, and exchange contact info with colleagues with the tap of a BlackBerry device are just a few of the NFC capabilities you can take advantage of today!

Here are a few examples of how NFC is already empowering today’s mobile workforce:

1. Replace access badges with BlackBerry smartphones

BlackBerry partner HID Global offers Secure Identity Services™, a comprehensive suite of web-based tools for managing physical access credentials (here’s the HID press release with more info). In case you didn’t know, Secure Identity Services is the first all-in-one web-based solution for enterprise credential provisioning and management. The HID platform provides businesses with the tools to create, use, and manage identities for traditional badges on plastic cards, for tokens, and for digital credentials on NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones.

2. Share information with BlackBerry NFC capable devices using BlackBerry Tag

Earlier this year, RIM announced BlackBerry® Tag, which allows customers to exchange information with a simple tap between any two NFC-enabled BlackBerry® smartphones. This technology makes sharing information a lot faster and much more personal. Here are just a few examples of what you can share with a single tap using BlackBerry Tag:

  • Invite your friend to BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™)
  • Share contact information
  • Share content from the media applications
  • Share voice notes
  • Share documents from within Documents To Go®
  • Share a URL from the browser
  • Create Bluetooth® pairing with ease
  • Transfer files

3. Smart Tags – “Work Like Magic”

Smart tags can contain a range of information, including web addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, coupons, graphics, media files, event details, and more. When you tap the smart tag reader on the back of your BlackBerry smartphone against a smart tag, your smartphone views the smart tag and presents you with the options to view or delete the smart tag. Smart tags can also help automate common tasks that you perform on a regular basis.

According to Annu, Senior Product Manager for BlackBerry 7, NFC technology on BlackBerry smartphones “works like magic”. Some smart tag ideas from Inside BlackBerry For Business Blog readers include launching the BlackBerry® Travel app when tapping the NFC tag on their suitcase, tapping an NFC tag beside their bed to set their alarm, and so much more. If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique technology, check out this blog post: Automate Common Tasks in Your Life Using NFC Tags and Your BlackBerry

We’d love to hear how you’ve been taking advantage of NFC technology – share you experiences with us by commenting below!

About Steph F.

Steph has been with Research In Motion since January 2009, most recently as a Communications Advisor on the Corporate PR team. With experience within the RIM Customer Support Operations organization, the Office of the CIO and the Enterprise and Government Public Relations team, Steph enjoys being a part of all things BlackBerry. Steph engages daily with the BlackBerry For Business community, which gives her an opportunity to connect with enterprise business leaders online. An ink-slinger of the fussiest sort, Steph has experience supporting senior executives (personal correspondence, keynote appearances and media interviews) and event management (press conferences, product launches and trade shows). Outside the office, Steph is a self-proclaimed oenophile, globe trotter and foodie-in-training. She also loves westies and accountants.

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