10 Largest NFC Implementations in the World

“The Unstoppable Rise of NFC” declared by GSMA implies that numerous projects using NFC technology have already been successfully executed worldwide. Choosing just ten of them is not an easy task, but it is worth the effort since the best practices in the field can be valuable lessons. This post features the cases of large-scale NFC implementation as well as the projects that succeeded in getting significant traction.


Commercial NFC services by Singapore’s operators

Industry: Payment.

Singapore has adopted a model whereby the country’s three mobile operators – SingTel, M1 and Starhub – have built a shared NFC infrastructure with partners in a government-backed approach. SingTel’s launch, which is in partnership with Singapore’s contactless payment provider EZ-Link, enables users to make payments using their mobile handset at over 20,000 point of sale terminals that accept EZ-Link payments such as taxis, supermarkets and fast food chains. M1 has an agreement so that its users can make payments at merchants which accept EZ-Link. In addition, it is offering a MasterCard pre-paid card so that users can also make payments where PayPass is accepted.

Although trialled extensively, large-scale commercial launches of NFC-based services are rare, which puts the three Singapore mobile operators at the forefront of current deployments. Since last August about 15,000 users have upgraded to NFC-based SIM cards that enable mobile payments, a report in the Straits Times says. In thisvideo, a part of Gemalto’s Digital Singapore series, experts share their experience talking about successful NFC deployment and the key factors in NFC adoption.

2. China Mobile launched NFC payments in 14 Chinese cities

Industry: Payment

In June China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile network operator, and Chinese bank card association China UnionPay announced the launch of their NFC payments service in more than fourteen Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou — and eight banks have signed up to make use of the partners’ platform. Later in June, the company also started an NFC pilot on public transportation services in Beijing.

3. Transit ticketing in South Korea

Industry: Transport

In South Korea, by the end of 2012, operators KT, SK Telecom and LGU+ together had sold more than 10 million NFC smartphones supporting the single wire protocol-SIM standard – the largest rollout of standard NFC phones to date. This video show a day in life with NFC in Korea.

The most popular service in South Korea is transit ticketing, and telco SK Telecom said that more than two million people have used their phones to pay transit fares in 2012, though that no doubt includes SK Telecom’s previous proprietary contactless-mobile technology. No. 2 Korean telco KT, which led the rollout of standard NFC phones in the country starting in late 2010, said it has 80,000 “active” users for transit ticketing with NFC phones, and they pay fares regularly on buses, subway trains and taxis. The telco also has reportedly rolled out more than 20,000 tags at bus stops.
4. Japanese Airlines’ use of NFC

Industry: Transport, Airport.

The NFC implementation by Japanese Airlines shows great results and indicates what value the technology can bring if used in a smart way. As Koichi Tagawa, Chairman of the NFC Forum, stated: “Japanese airlines using NFC can board a 450-person plane in only 15 minutes, as opposed to the standard boarding process for a 150-person plane without NFC in 40 minutes”.

Outside of Asia Pacific

NFC mobile wallet services

5. Google Wallet

6. Isis

7. Turkcell

Industry: Payment.

According to Lars Kurkinen, telecom industry analyst at Berg Insight: “With the exception of a few projects in Asia Pacific, there are only three NFC mobile wallet services in the world that have an effective addressable market of more than 100,000 people. These three services are Google Wallet and Isis in the US and Turkcell Wallet in Turkey. These are the largest implementations measured by the number of people that can register for the service today without purchasing a new handset, changing their bank or moving to another city”. Check out the video where Mr Ali Salci, Head of Mobile Financial Services at Turkcell, gives his viewpoint on their NFC roll-out and the key to success.


Industry: Payment, Transport.

Cityzi is an initiative which aims at deployment of NFC and contactless in France. It brings together the leading telecom operators, banks, transport operators, traders and industry players. The initiative was launched in May 2010 in Nice.

There are now 2.5 million NFC-enabled phones that work with the French mobile network operators’ Cityzi NFC platform in circulation,up from 1m in mid-2012, reports trade association AFSCM. Some 26 NFC phone models are now available, up from 14 a year ago and 18 in June 2012. 55,000 French merchants are equipped with Cityzi-compatible contactless payments terminals. In addition, lately NFC transit ticketing service has gone live in French city of Caen.

9. Orange & Eat

Industry: Retail.

Following the launch of Orange’s Quick Tap NFC mobile wallet service, Orange released Quick Tap Treats (QTT), an NFC voucher and loyalty service which is being delivered through its retail partners to Orange customers. Proxama claims that this is UK’s first and largest NFC retail campaign to date and provides the following statistics:

  • 114 Locations Nationwide
  • 24,614 transactions over the two months, working out to 410 transactions per day
  • 3/5 consumers also purchased other additional items simultaneously when collecting their treats.

10. Advertising campaign for KFC

Industry: Advertising.

In March Proxama, Posterscope and Clear Channel launched a campaign for KFC. Utilising over 400 of Clear Channel’s NFC-enabled UK outdoor media sites, the campaign promoted KFC’s Hot Shots Box Meal and encouraged consumers to tap or scan for directions to their closest restaurant.

The campaign ran for 2 weeks across the UK and gathered a lot of attention from passers-by. Many consumers interacted with the campaign via NFC and QR. Highlights included:

  • 400 locations Nationwide
  • 60+ interactions per day
  • 3rd most interacted phone was NFC-enabled
  • 3rd of all campaign interactions were via NFC

Do you also have NFC, RFID or any other contactless/proximity solution that will bring value and major changes for the better?

Author: Patrick de Zeeuw
posted on: Wednesday, 10 July 2013


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