NFC Trials in Milan

Telecom Italia's Variety of NFC Applications Provide Fresh Optimism


During last week's GSMA NFC and Mobile Money Summit in Milan, I was fortunate to be selected as one of the 1,000 pilot participants of Telecom Italia's NFC trial. Having previously been an early adopter of Orange's Quick Tap in the UK, I was eager to see how mobile payments might differ in another country and whether this might change my attitude to NFC-based mobile payments, for better or worse.

On receiving a Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 NFC for the trial, I was immediately impressed by the variety of NFC uses that were being promoted by Telecom Italia. Unlike Orange Quick Tap, which was primarily limited to in-store payments, the Italian initiative includes public transport, coupons, smart posters and even an interactive NFC visit at the Museum of Science and Technology.

It was encouraging to see NFC being used for so many different things. I don't think the technology should be restricted to mobile payments; if anything, non-payment uses of NFC will probably be more popular in the short term. However, given the scale of this pilot, I was slightly apprehensive whether all the advertised services would work.

Of course, mobile payments were the focus of the show, and so I had to try this first at a local retailer. Using my TIM Wallet app preloaded with €15, I found a nearby participating restaurant to have dinner.

Unfortunately the staff was not familiar with the technology and couldn't process the transaction. But I did get some satisfaction from using my 10 percent discount coupon saved on the app. The discount was applied by tapping my Galaxy Mini 2 against the waiter's Galaxy Mini 2, which I assume was connected to the restaurant's point-of-sale system.

Despite this initial hiccup, I was determined to find other uses for NFC the next day.

One interesting example was exchanging business cards between NFC phones. This certainly had its benefits — I met many people that had run out of physical business cards — but performing the transaction was not straightforward. Many attendees at the event struggled to understand how to set up the phone to make the exchange.

milan_nfc

It wasn't all disappointing. In just two days in Milan, I encountered notable successes with my NFC-enabled device. The phone was easily able to read smart posters and connect to the Web links. I was most impressed with the NFC ticket on the phone, which provided two one-day travel passes. I used it to get on the metro and it worked perfectly. I simply waved the phone over the card reader at the ticket barrier (see left). I can already see this would offer a number of benefits to commuters.

NFC ticketing is arguably one of the best usage scenarios for the technology. Early trials, such as the one in London using a Nokia 6131 NFC phone in 2007 and 2008, focussed on this aspect and contributed greatly to raising the profile of NFC. I believe there's still a lot of potential in this area, particularly in London where similar technology is already used on the city's Oyster Card.

So, how did my Italian experience differ from my use of Orange Quick Tap in the UK? Certainly Telecom Italia has provided a variety of very interesting ideas that I think could work well in many cities in the UK. NFC ticketing, which is seeing greater adoption, definitely deserves more attention.

Yet some problems persist, most notably in the area of payments. I'm not sure if my experience in Milan changed my fundamental views on NFC, but it has left me optimistic about what could be achieved with the technology. Judging by the variety and number of attendees at NFC and Mobile Money Summit 2012, I don't think I'm the only one.

This entry was posted on October 31st, 2012 and is filed under Services. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Posted By Digantam Gurung On October 31st, 2012


Comments
(There are no comments yet)
Leave a Comment

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
Our latest employee technology survey reveals #AI will be a critical driver of productivity and job creation: https://t.co/FMYhCQNSlc
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @ChelseaApps: Great session from @nickmcquire today at #EMTEUK - big AI challenges in coming years will be making it simple, transparent…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
RT @JonyIveParody: For iOS users, today is update day. For Android users, it’s just Tuesday. https://t.co/Sc3gV6Er9T
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
#SmartSummit17 - looking forward to a great event. https://t.co/n4gwkMkNnj
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
RT @CCSInsight: Our latest employee technology survey reveals #AI will be a critical driver of productivity and job creation: https://t.co…
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
RT @CCSInsight: Our new #wearables forecast predicts 60 million smartwatches and 44 million fitness trackers will be sold in 2018: https://…
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
Will #AI destroy or create jobs? Good coverage of our employee technology survey released today from @ITPro https://t.co/rl84joJgBa
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
That's a wrap folks #ibc2017, stay tuned for our #IBCShow event report
Follow Paolo
Kester Mann
RT @shauncollins: "Millennials see AI & Mobility as job creator" @CCSInsight employee tech survey & @nickmcquire blog (free to access) http…
Follow Kester
Katie Taylor
Got my custom workout from @Reebok based on my favourite emojis. What a time to be alive
Follow Katie
Tony Worthington
@benwood But the palm charger didn't look THIS good!
Follow Tony

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Employees Expect AI to Have Big Impact on Jobs Employee Technology Survey Highlights Workplace Trends for 2... Read more
Blog Post
UK Operators Turn to Sub-Brands for Growth Launches from Three and Vodafone Put Virtual Providers in Fi... Read more
Blog Post
I Stand Alone Apple's Watch Series 3 Will Test the Waters for Cellular Wea... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
One Third of Employees See Artificial Intelligence as Job Creator Survey reveals more than half of employees expect artificial... Read more
More news