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NFC will come to tablets in retail, says panel

by Doug Drinkwater

October 13 2011

Industry experts believe that it is only a matter of time before near field communication (NFC) technology becomes available for tablets to take payments in retail.

IT Europa’s Tablet in Enterprise conference held a panel discussion on the issues facing tablet adoption in business yesterday. The panel consisted of Endeavor’s Louis Jouanny, Fujitsu’s Paul Hoey, Tony Speakman of FileMaker, Michael Stephens of Filesize and Tigerspike’s Nic Newman. Topics ranged from the ideal tablet form factor and operating system to device deployment and security risks, but it was the discussion on payment technologies which generated the most interest.

Louis Jouanny said that an independent toy store in Paris is already taking payments on tablets in an effort to reduce customer queues, while FileMaker’s Tony Speakman said that he expects the adoption of near fielded communication (NFC) and like-minded payment technologies to become common place over the next two years. Fujitsu’s Paul Hoey said that telco operators, food chains and retail stores are eager to use this technology, while Salman Chaudhry of Context expects NFC trials to take place over the next six to 12 months.

The panel cited several case studies of tablet deployment, with the speakers agreeing that banking, health and education are the most prominent areas for tablet deployment. Context believes that there was around a 2000% rise in adoption in health and education in 2010. The researcher believes that this adoption is being assisted by a strong government backing in the UK.

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