NFC Technology Archive

Is Apple NFC technology is holding back mobile wallets?

A group of banks in Australia have accused the iPhone maker of delaying the progress of mobile payments.

A number of Australian banks have come together in a claim that Apple NFC technology restrictions are keeping mobile payments from progressing. They feel that mobile wallet services could be advancing faster across multiple platforms, but the iPhone maker’s tech restrictions are proving to be highly problematic.

The banks have said they feel that lifting the NFC restriction considerably change the ecosystem.

The group of Australian banks described the struggle they feel with the Apple NFC technology restriction in a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission(ACCC). The submission was 27 pages long and described the way the NFC restriction is not only stopping new mobile wallets from being accessible across different platforms, but it is also placing a barrier in the way of progress.

Apple NFC Technology - NFC Mobile DeviceThe four banks insist that the restriction is leading to a fragmented customer experience and that if access is not made available there “simply will not be the same incentives and ability to innovative,” when it comes to progress on iOS based devices or others, for that matter.

The restriction from Apple NFC technology is important in Australia as it represents 40% of smartphones.

In the report from the banks, they pointed out that “approximately 40% of smartphone sales are iPhones,” in the country. That said, they also underscored that “the value and importance of the iPhone customer segment for app uptake, use and expenditure far outweigh this share.”

To illustrate the point, the report said that about 60 percent of mobile banking transactions come from iPhone users. Moreover 70 percent of Australian mobile app revenues come from those same devices. As Apple smartphone users are more likely to use mobile wallets and banking and will more readily embrace newer technologies, these are also the users most likely to push tech innovation, such as with mobile payments.

By restricting the Apple NFC technology, the banks claim that progress in other areas of mobile payments is being hobbled. iPhone users are typically more tech focused, wealthy, engaged by and attached to their devices. By cutting them off from tech other than that produced by the iPhone maker itself, competition and opportunity from elsewhere is stunted, said the report.

NFC technology and holograms may soon secure government IDs

Near field communication could play a role in reducing the effectiveness of falsified visas and passports.

A new partnership may soon mean that a combination of hologram and NFC technology could fight counterfeit government documents. The companies involved are Thinfilm, a printed electronics firm, and Holoptica, an authentication solutions provider.

The end product could potentially be a holographic NFC tagged chip used as an anti-counterfeiting solution.

This use of NFC technology in combination with holograms could create a government document that can’t be forged. Moreover, it could also be possible to invalidate a legitimate document in the case of theft.

NFC Technology - NFC TagThe SpeedTap tag is produced by Thinfilm. It includes an NFC chip that would make it possible for consumers and government officials to connect to the certified digital replica of a document. This way, a single tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone could be all that is required to verify a document’s authenticity.

If this use of holograms and NFC technology works, it could save over $10 billion (US) each year.

The black market costs an estimated US$10 billion in forged and counterfeit passports, work permits and visas every year. Near field communication chips worked into these documents could mean that fraud would be much closer to being eliminated.

According to the Holoptica CEO, George Perkous, “Combining Thinfilm’s SpeedTap tags with Holoptica’s high-security SmartMark hologram creates a highly effective yet economical solution in the fight against counterfeiters.” He went on to say that the company is looking forward to seeing the outcome of the role played by the NFC tags in boosting document security on a global scale.

Thinfilm CEO Davor Sutija explained that “Document fraud costs governments and businesses billions of dollars each year and directly contributes to the growth of global terrorist activity.” He expressed that his company is glad to be working on the NFC technology and hologram solution as a part of a meaningful anti-counterfeiting strategy.

Sutija feels that this effort will contribute to making the world a safer place for everyone. It will help to minimize the risk of counterfeiting among important government documents in countries worldwide.