NFC Forum

Headquarters: 
United States

The most important trade group promoting Near Field Communication, the NFC Forum sets standards for the technology and evangelizes its uses.

The group has had to balance the competing interests of its members and to fend off the inevitable suspicion that its specs favor its founders, NXP Semiconductors, Sony and Nokia. And some, mainly mobile operator interests, have questioned its bona fides as a standards organization.

But nearly 150 companies have joined the forum since its founding in 2004. The forum is playing a key role in insuring the technology works as planned and is interoperable, especially when NFC phones or other devices are called upon to act as contactless readers or in peer-to-peer mode.

In June 2009, the forum introduced an acceptance mark, a stylized “N,” to tell consumers where they could tap their phones or other devices to use the technology outside the point of sale. Some in the industry, however, criticize the design as evoking the name of the technology–which consumers care little about–not the services NFC could offer. 

The forum is building an NFC-conformance-testing program and as part of that effort has commissioned two companies to develop test tools for the task. It will spend US$200,000 to validate the tools with a test laboratory. By 2010, the forum plans to begin certifying suppliers for conformance with the technology, though not for interoperability. For that, it will hold regular “plugfests.”

It is also giving more companies a voice, and in August 2009 introduced a special membership category for “implementers,” mainly small companies. Still, its most important committee assignments and board posts go to the big sponsors.

Key figures: 

Membership
140 (Sept. 2009)

Key NFC Personnel: 
Koichi Tagawa, (Sony Corp.) Chairman
Debbie Arnold, director
Peter Preuss, (Nokia) marketing committee chairman
Jonathan Main, (MasterCard Worldwide) Technical Committee chairman
Matt Ronning (Sony) and Dino Bekis, (Broadcom) Compliance Committee chairmen
Last Updated: 
Jan 2010
Author: 
Balaban

HEADLINE NEWS

Alipay to Expand Acceptance of Mobile Wallet in Russia

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Alipay is expanding acceptance in another overseas market, Russia, seeking to capture business from Chinese tourists who travel to the country.

Apple Discloses Plans for Four More Apple Pay Markets; Confirms Most Transactions Outside of U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple Tuesday disclosed plans to launch its mobile payments service in four more small markets, including three countries in the Nordics, with the tech giant seeing higher usage of Apple Pay outside of the U.S., where NFC-enabled POS terminals are still not widely available.

As Use of Wallets for In-Store Payments Disappoint, P2P Payments to Surpass $120 Billion in 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Research firm eMarketer predicts that mobile peer-to-peer payments in the U.S. will grow by 55% to more than $120 billion in 2017, an amount that is expected to double by 2021.

Mastercard Launches Campaign to Push New Zealand Retailers to Accept Contactless Payments

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Mastercard has launched an initiative to encourage retailers in New Zealand to adopt contactless payments, noting that nearly three-quarters of New Zealanders use contactless.

Banks and PayPal Announce More Deals for In-Store Transactions, But It’s Unclear When NFC-Enabled PayPal Wallet Will Arrive

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Although Bank of America announced that its customers would “soon” be able to use the PayPal Wallet to pay for purchases in stores using NFC, a bank spokeswoman has told NFC Times that the NFC-enabled wallet might not even be available next year.

Experts: Don’t Expect the Amazon Go or Uber Payments Concept to Hit the Retail Chains Anytime Soon

NFC TIMES Exclusive – With the widespread use of Uber and launch of the Amazon Go experiment, some payments industry observers are predicting it might not be too long before invisible payments comes to brick-and-mortar stores.

Swatch Pay One of the First Low-Tech Payments Wearables That Can be Provisioned After the Sale: How It Works

Jul 21 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – While such smartwatches as the Apple Watch are routinely provisioned with payments cards after they are in the hands of consumers, that hasn’t been the case for low-tech analog watches. Swatch Pay could change that.

Analysis: Apple Tries to Jump-Start Apple Pay in China with Generous Week-Long Discounts and Offers

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – ­Apple, which is losing its battle badly for market share in China’s huge mobile payments market, has launched one week of generous promotions in hopes it can begin to turn the tide.

PayPal Hopes Samsung Deal Will Help It End String of Failures in Tapping Offline Merchants

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – PayPal is believed to have cut its deal with Samsung to be part of the Samsung Pay wallet mainly to gain access to the device maker’s MST technology, enabling consumers to pay in stores with their PayPal accounts without having to look for an NFC-enabled POS terminal.

Backers of WeChat Pay and Alipay Continue to Expand Acceptance Outside of China

NFC Times Exclusive Insight – China’s two large mobile payments services, Alipay and WeChat Pay, continue to roll out acceptance in Europe, North America and other parts of Asia, as they follow Chinese tourists to these destinations.

Denmark’s Largest Bank Plans to Expand Reach of Its Growing MobilePay Wallet; Continues to Favor BLE over NFC and QR Codes

NFC TIMES Exclusive –  Danske Bank’s MobilePay service in Denmark is one of the few mobile-wallet success stories globally, though on a small scale. Now the bank is planning to expand to other Nordic countries and seeks to continue to use BLE technology, not NFC, to enable the in-store piece of its mobile payments service.

Despite Launch of Three Major ‘Pays’ in Taiwan, Visa Plans to Also Support QR Code Payments on Island

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Visa says it plans to support QR code-based mobile payments late next year in Taiwan–a market where all three major “Pays” wallets have launched supporting Visa-branded cards with NFC.