Near-Field Communication: The New E-Commerce


Group One


Michael Dye, Cameron Marshall, and Blayne Sharpe


Key Words: Near-Field Communications, Smart-Card, Touch-Based Interactions


Near-Field Communications (NFC) is the new technology that is taking over two greatly used areas: cell phones and e-commerce. This technology will also be used in electronics other than cell phones such as: video cameras, vending machines, etc. NFC works with smart-card “subscriber information modules” implanted in one’s cell phone. These smart-cards transmit information when in close proximity with another transmitter. These transmitters can be another phone or stationary transmitter (transmitters in vending machines, home computers, smart posters, etc.). Phones that are NFC compliant work similarly to Bluetooth technology, in that, they exchange data between other electronic devices wirelessly – when within the maximum transmittal range. Someone with an NFC phone will be able to purchase and download music, download videos, purchase and store electronic movie tickets, and so much more simply by being in close contact with another NFC compliant module. One can probably already see the benefits of such technology. Near-Field Communication stream-lines payment options for businesses while giving consumers a huge convenience factor when used for e-commerce. Laptops and computers have made e-commerce much easier, but with NFC one can literally buy and sell anything wirelessly anywhere. Just this alone will save a company and a consumer valuable time and money.


Near-Field Communication is a way for consumers to buy and sell items through the internet, wirelessly, using their cell phones. NFC is also an easy, secure way of transmitting information. A NFC cell phone transmits data at a speed of 424 kilobytes per second. 424 kilobytes is not a blazing fast speed, but it will inevitably increase as more research and development is done. At this speed a NFC phone can transmit a four megabyte music file to another NFC phone in approximately twenty to twenty-five seconds. From a consumer standpoint, a Near-Field Communications compatible phone can be used to book airplane flights, buy movie tickets, make hotel reservations, and download music and videos in a relatively small amount of time. The data from the hotel keycard can be transmitted to the cell phone, thus allowing the cell phone to open the hotel door by holding it in close proximity with the transmitter on the hotel door. The hotel can transfer a receipt directly to the customer’s cell phone upon departure where the customer can then transfer the receipt from his/her phone to a pc for expense reporting.


Philips Electronics, Sony Corporation, and Nokia are the three pioneers of the near-field communications technology. These three corporations formed a forum to collectively research and develop the Near-Field Communication technology. In the Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum was established by Trio Philips/NXP, Nokia and Sony article, Phillips Electronics stated, “…our focus is giving consumers easy access to information, entertainment, and services.” Nokia is heavily involved with the touch interactions of the NFC technology. This touch interaction technology is an intuitive way to connect and share with other mobile devices and the web. Simplicity of transmitting data is the driving force in the joint effort of all three companies. These companies want everyone with NFC technology to be able to connect, transmit, and collect information from the web and other cell phones with the greatest ease possible.


This technology is important because a NFC device can literally be used anywhere, and it is easy to use. NFC makes online purchases, collection of information, and transmission of information much more convenient. With a large percentage of the U.S. (and world) population having a cell phone, Near-Field Communications will vastly network the world as soon as it is released worldwide. Once released the vast majority of people can literally do their day-to-day activities on the go.


The impact on businesses and other organizations will be huge both financially and convenience-wise. People in the workplace can manage their purchases, files, personal life, and more just by using their cell phones; therefore, one can save time by using Near-Field Communications. In business, time is money! With this new technology, businesses can make payment transactions quickly and efficiently and with more security than with most of the current payment options; therefore, a business can make a business transaction faster and get their goods faster than they can now. That fact itself can be worth millions of dollars to businesses. With the smart-cards, transactions through an NFC device gain an added layer of security, so businesses do not have to worry about large monetary transactions. Businesses can also eliminate needless equipment and time-wasting operations. The hotel business would be an example. With NFC technology a customer does not needs a key or keycard anymore. The hotel would simply send the data to open the door directly to the customer’s phone, and the customer would then use his/her phone to open the door. This is a win-win situation for both the customer and the hotel. The customer does not have to keep up with keys or keycards, just his/her cell phone. The hotel has less liability because it does not have to worry about keycard fraud that might lead to people breaking into other people’s rooms.


The consumer and tourism areas of business are going to greatly benefit from Near-Field Communications. The consumer sector will benefit by allowing consumers to purchase things anywhere and anytime. The consumer does not have to wait to get access to a computer to buy something. The tourism sector will benefit by streamlining the process of making hotel reservations, buying airline tickets, making restaurant reservations, etc.


The possibilities are endless with this technology. With this wireless technology and moving of information, any idea could literally be accomplished with near-field communication. With cell phones being so common-place in society, everyone will have access to Near-Field Communications – which is an advantage to both the consumer and the business. Nokia and Samsung already have a couple phones equipped with NFC in Europe, thus are having great success. With the expected release date in the U.S. sometime in the latter part of 2007, expectations are that NFC cell phones will be the next “cell phone craze”. The advantages of Near-Field Communications far outweigh any disadvantages; therefore, it will be around until something totally replaces the cell phone – which doesn’t seem likely for a long time. Near-Field Communications technology will almost force everyone to get a cell phone.






Embedded (2006, August 22). Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum was

Established by Trio Philips/NXP, Nokia and Sony. Retrieved Saturday, July 21, 2007, from


Frenzel, Louis E. (2006, September 14). NFC Makes Great Progress in the Wireless World.

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Mark, David. (2006, February 2). Near-Field Communications Opens Vision of E-Commerce.

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