Just tap and go. NFC technology is building momentum as a service access interface.

Think about tap-and-go services like Apple Pay or Android Pay. It feels like some kind of magic, but it is actually a quite robust technology called NFC (Near Field Communication) that detects and then enables technology in close proximity to communicate without the need for an internet connection. NFC has been around for a few years but only recently started gaining momentum. It's easy, fast and works, well, automagically!

The technology itself is straightforward, you can think of it as the evolution of RFID. An NFC chip operates as one part of a wireless link. Once it's activated by another chip, data can be transferred between the two devices when held at the distance of a few centimeters. There are no pairing codes and the power involved in the transfer is very small.

Right now the most widespread use of NFC are the payment solutions from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others, but many other applications are gaining ground. And the possibilities of using NFC for smooth and efficient functions within Customer Journey Management solutions are almost limitless. With the tap of a phone you can identify yourself and set your communications preferences in an instant, getting information in the shape and size that suits you best; audio, images, text, language etc.

For example, in healthcare there are several challenges that can be addressed by NFC solutions. The worldwide trend of ”changing demographics” i.e more older people, means that a lot of information will need to be available in multiple formats because some people will be having trouble hearing, or seeing, or both. Instead of reading instructions on screens, which is not always easy with weak eyesight, tapping the phone against a brightly colored reciever could trigger audio instructions, as well as checking in for an appointment and getting information about time, place and other relevant information.

This kind of thinking is applicable in many other areas, e.g. retail and public service. With increased support for NFC on the dominant smartphone platforms this is part of the next evolutionary stage in creating better bridges between online and physical service interfaces.