NFC still isn’t a ‘mature’ technology, if you use the metric of ubiquity. It’s not everywhere yet, despite Nokia recently bragging that it has been using NFC for years. But it’s getting there. Slowly, true, but it is.
The latest example of NFC stepping more and more into the mainstream comes from South Korea, and from Samsung specifically. The electronics giant is going to replace plastic ID cards at its headquarters in Suwon with identification (and access permission) based on NFC-enabled smartphones. This will affect about 40% of the company’s employees.
Aside from advancing NFC into the workplace, this will ensure Samsung saves some money. Plastic ID cards have to be manufactured, and that isn’t free. Plastic IDs also are apparently in the habit of being lost by their owners. That costs Samsung money in the form of issuing replacements. Lost ID cards can be used by wrongdoers to get inside facilities, and they can get some information about the owner through these lost ID cards.
So doing it all via NFC-enabled smartphones creates a smaller risk for employees as well. Phones are much less likely to be lost, forgotten, dropped, or a combination of these things. And when you do lose your always-connected smartphone, personal data is going to be at risk regardless of whether your Samsung access ID is stored on the device or not.
Samsung is going to implement this system in other locations as well this year, and the trend of using NFC for authentication/access control purposes will surely spread to other big corporations pretty soon. It just makes sense from a lot of points of view, and it especially makes financial sense. Though do expect those countries with above average smartphone penetration rates to be the first in which you’ll see this happen.
NFC looks like it’s finally about to jump the shark.
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