How can NFC payments help a business with marketing?

NFC allows devices to communicate with each other meaning your café or shop could target customers walking past your store with downloaded apps accepting your notifications and picked up via geo-targeting.

Benefits: This could provide your business with really interesting loyalty reward programmes, even games or competitions between customers, and allows for really specific targeting of offers, specials etc.

Disadvantage: If overused by businesses this could become a space too noisy and intrusive to customers. This could in turn mean they reject the technology or opt to not receive your alerts. If you get the opportunity to begin working with marketing technologies through NFC tag use it wisely and considerately – keeping the consumer’s trust is crucial when you’re sending things into their personal space.

What is the difference between mobile payments, NFC payments, contactless payments and mcommerce?

As mentioned above, NFC and contactless are neither phone nor credit or debit card specific, the term can be used for both. However these types of payments do currently relate to payments made when the customer and device are both physically present at the point of sale or transaction. Mobile payments as a general term can also apply to shopping carried out online via your browser or an app on your smartphone. This would involve entering RFID credit card details, paying via an iTunes account or possibly having the price of an item purchased online added to your phone network bill. Mcommerce applies to this area of mobile payments – those purchases taking place online as opposed to in store.

Benefits: These various methods of payments arising from mobile are allowing retail and ecommerce stores to integrate multi channel payments and marketing opportunities. More avenues for a customer to shop and pay by can be an excellent addition to a stores services and offerings.

Disadvantage: It can seem difficult to manage multiple channels for shopping and paying. Beginning to introduce multi-channel payments needs a well planned strategy for how they integrate with each other, how they relate to each other and how they can compliment each other. Payment methods need to feel natural, familiar and intuitive to the customer. It’s probably better to have one perfect option than five uncertain options.

WHAT IS NEEDED FOR NFC

One of the reasons that NFC is so successful is that it’s a relatively simple technology (well, at least if you’re a propeller head). This figure shows the basic elements of an NFC communication in most cases. As you can see, you have an NFC-enabled device that uses a wireless connection to power and then interact with some sort of NFC information source (a card).

The technology relies on the same basic principle as those RFID tag and reader that you see all over the place in the stores right now. The main difference is that NFC operates at a shorter distance, provides secure communication, and allows for bidirectional communication (peer to peer), so it’s like an RFID solution on steroids.

It’s important to know that NFC-enabled devices can be either readers or cards. For example, when you use NFC to exchange information between two smartphones, the first smartphone begins by acting as a reader, and the second smartphone acts as a card. After the initial information exchange, they reverse roles. Now the first smartphone is a card and the second smartphone is a reader.

NFC tag can’t act as readers. They are “passive,” which means that they have no power source. So they always act as information sources, as shown here. The NFC-enabled device sends power and commands to the tag, which then responds with data.

In addition, you can use any NFC-enabled device such as a smartphone to write data to a tag using a special command. This means that you can update the tags as needed to hold new information.

LANYARDS

lanyard
lanyard

Lanyards have a huge of uses, the most common of which being a means of protecting valuables like cameras and key rings. They are usually worn either on the wrist (cameras), or around the neck (key chains). Often, companies attending expositions will supply them to their employees, in order for them to be easily identified as representatives of their brand. They are also a powerful promotional tool used by companies the world over to improve brand recognition. They have become popular for several reasons, one of these being that unlike a lot of promotional items, key chain lanyards are unlikely to be discarded after the first use, as many people do actually use them to protect their belongings. In addition to this, they are also very inexpensive to produce in large numbers, making them an attractive option for companies looking to reach a large number of people for a low outlay.

If you want to have a less uniform look, allowing your employees express their individual style, we recommend that you have several models to offer to your staff. Everybody can find one corresponding to their way of dressing, their mood or their style. You can even decide to create individual lanyards with staff names and with various colors. So, your employees will enjoy wearing their ID badges because their lanyards bring a little fun to daily work. In this case, we recommend you to choose.

Whatever your choice, you will improve the level of security of your company as staff wearing lanyards can be identified easily and quickly.

How RFID Readers and antennas affect the read range

As I mentioned in my previous blog about the million dollar question, “How far will it read?”, two of the factors are the reader and antennas (and remember we are discussing passive RFID).

Passive UHF RFID readers can affect the read range depending on the manufacturer and the power level. In the US, FCC regulations cap the output power at 4 watts, whereas in Europe it is only 1 watt. There are studies available for purchase that detail the testing results of readers and antennas in a controlled, RF-friendly environment. These are appropriate for general guidelines, but each environment is different and a reader that did not test at #1 in the study may be the better one in your environment.

Passive UHF RFID antennas can also affect the read range depending on the manufacturer, the type of polarization and the gain. Antennas can be either linearly polarized or circularly polarized. When the direction of the electric field is in one plane, it is called “linear polarization”. When the direction of the electric field is rotated around the axis of propagation, it is called “circular polarization”. Linear polarized antennas will provide a longer read range as compared to circular. Also, an improvement in antenna gain is achieved by focusing the radiated RF into narrower patterns for the purpose of increasing the power in a specific direction. In general, the higher the gain the longer the read range.

What’s Frequency Got to Do With It?

Contrary to Tina Turner, frequency like love has everything to do with it. RFID technologies operate at many frequencies, but I will only cover the most common passive ones here: low-frequency (125 MHz), high-frequency (13.56 MHz) and ultra high-frequency (860-960 MHz).

Low-frequency (LF) passive solutions operate around 125 MHz, use less power and are less susceptible to liquids. Read ranges are in inches.

High-frequency (HF) passive RFID solutions operate around 13.56 MHz, use more power and are less susceptible to metals. Read ranges are at most a few feet.

Ultra-high-frequency (UHF) passive RFID solutions operate between 860-960 MHz (depending on the country), uses the most power of the three and are less likely to pass through materials. The data transfer rate is faster than LF and HF and the read ranges can be as high as 30 feet or more.

GPS tracking with RFID tags

GPS tracking with RFID tags are currently available, but do you think it’s an invasion of people’s privacy?

There are two main reasons people are arguing this is ethical. One, it can help track children when they have wandered off or been abducted, and two, for Alzheimer patients who get lost and can’t identify who they are or where they need to be.

Because it is children and child abduction is becoming more and more frequent it seems this new technology is beneficial and essential, but does this mean this sophisticated tag, that uses satellites with RFID, will be able to track where your family is at all times?

However, it can only track a certain distance from the scanner. For example, if you have a chip embedded in your apparel and you walk in to the mall the scanner may pick up that RFID tag and know you’re there. This now sends them your information, where you bought that outfit or when it was purchased. This then allows them to be able to track where you are in the mall.

More recently, American Apparel has over 200 stores in 18 differencountries. As you can imagine at times it can be hard to track all their retail transferring from place to place. For a chance to better their company and ensure that their stock was all there and to avoid losing sales, they decided to invest in an RFID to control its manufacturing, distributing and retail operations.

After extensive testing they discovered increased sales and a more accurate inventory. This is now implemented in all the stores in the New York area and in Santa Monica, California. For retailers, like American Apparel, this is beneficial in a different way and not to invade in their customer’s privacy.

Construction Implements RFID

Since the construction industry has taken a new interest in RFID technology, companies are discovering this can be used for numerous things such as tracking, inventory management and equipment management. Just in 2 years this technology has improved drastically and has decreased costs fundamentally, for many companies.

Recently construction sites are using material tracking management systems to provide site managers the capability of seeking the construction progress and knowing what materials are delivered.

This is probable and cost effective by using RFID tag systems and then tagging all products. This guarantees more accurate numbers of the quantity of all things delivered and helps company’s monitor what is being completed on the construction site.

The RFID systems are being used more frequently and companies are saving money. By using these systems it allows companies to see the wastage of materials, theft and check-in waiting times for all materials.

This also includes less paperwork, which saves a tremendous amount of time. Information goes from paper to electronic form and could include instructions for the vehicle driver to follow. The multiple documents that are handled daily from workers to drivers or drivers to workers is significantly decreased and all electronic.

Another benefit is how this technology has made it possible for communication to be immediate and any problems are resolved as soon as they become visible.

UHF RFID SOLUTION FOR AUTOMATIC WEIGHTING PROJECT

There is many in-and-out transport vehicles in the power plant, coal yard dump area and mining area. There are some procedures such as parking registration and weighting required.

If the operators input the data into the computer or register by hand writing, it will waste a lot of time and may cause many errors and human cheatings, so usually a huge economic loss may occur to the enterprise.

The intelligent weighing system has integrated the UHF RFID technology, electronic automobile scale technology, communication technology, automatic control technology, database technology and computer network technology.

It automatically records the weight and time information of in-and-out vehicles that tagged with an electronic tag, the information store into the database of the host computer.

The system can get rid of the human errors effectively, prevents the weighing cheating and other unfavorable cases, and make sure the accuracy of the data collection and reduces economic loss.

Workflow
* Green signal lights on, the vehicle to be weighed enters the lane and then the red signal lamp turns on to prohibit the entrance of next vehicle into the lane.
* The vehicle passes the entrance-sensing coil, and then the sensing coil will generates inductive signals and the UHF RFID Reader begin to read the card information which stick on the windshield. Compare the card information with the database of the host computer .Register the vehicle information at the same time.
* the vehicle drives onto the balance for weighing and the screen displays the weight information and the camera will capture the vehicle photo and store to the system at the same time.
* After weighing, the vehicle leave the balance and passes the ground-sensing coil and then the barrier rises up and left the vehicle go.
* after the vehicle pass the barrier puts down then the green signal light turn on, the next vehicle is allowed for entrance.

*when the vehicle finish the uploading. it will pass the system again and get the vehicle weight and store the information to the system, then the software will know the goods weight.

Benefits
* it is suitable for the application under various extremely terrible environments such as wind, snow and rain weather
* the tag data is specially encoded and the electronic tags (electronic vehicle plate) cannot be faked or copied

* the vehicle tag with long life and no maintenance required;
* High-speed data collection enables the rapid weighing, improves the efficiency of the weighing and gets rid of the phenomenon of queue-up for Vehicles
*Avoid human operation errors, Due to the adoption of automatic data collection, all vehicles to be weighed will be recorded by the computer automatically
* Long distance identification with 5-8m identification distance

RFID tag cloning

There are many other issues associated with RFID security, one of which is RFID tag cloning. RFID security systems need to be able to prevent cloning as this would open the overall system to a variety of forms of security attack.

Typically when RFID tag cloning occurs, the responses of RFID tags are received by rogue monitors. Information received can then be used to replicate tags.

To enable RFID security to overcome this vulnerability, cryptographic techniques are used and embedded into the chips used. A number of approaches may be adopted:

Rolling code approach: This approach to RFID security uses a scheme where the identifier given by the RFID tag changes after each read action. This reduces the usefulness of any responses that may be observed. It requires the RFID reader and RFID tag to have the same algorithm for changing the identifier. If multiple readers are used, they must be linked so that tracking can occur.

Challenge response authentications: These systems use cryptographic principles. Here the reader issues an enquiry to the tag which results in a response, but as secret tag information is never sent over the interface between the RFID reader and tag the system cannot be compromised. Both reader and tag compute information from internal cryptographic algorithms, and the results are sent and the correct responses required for a successful information interchange. The system is essentially the same as encrypting data to send over a normal radio link.

In view of the additional processing required, the tags have a very much higher cost, and they are also far more power hungry. As a result deployment of these RFID secure tags is limited to areas where the cost can be justified.

RFID security and RFID privacy both remain as issues. In many cases the limited range provides the level of security required by many. Also there is often not a direct gain that can be made by criminals, so RFID security is not an issue in the same way as that for credit cards.