NFC and Austin

Austin has been selected as the initial launch city for the ISIS mobile commerce program.  NFC is picking up all around the world in terms of adoption – the ISIS program will help in speeding up the process.

ERP Analyst Michael Koploy writes about five ways the adoption can be used and like a true Austin boy, has supported the decision to go with his hometown.

Questions that come to mind include

  • Is it a good decision to go with Austin? Why not a place like NYC or LA? Sorry Michael, An innocent question 🙂
  • Will AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon do all that is required to push ISIS throughout the city? Is that sufficient for the success of the program?
  • What is the push given by handset makers to adopt the technology? If current handsets are not enabled, will one be lured to buy a handset that supports NFC? If so, how much does it cost?
  • Is there an incentive for vendors to use this technology? Without one, why will the shops use this technology. I am not sure how much it will cost them to adopt the technology.
  • How does Square hamper/encourage the usage of NFC technology? Square has seen great success in the States – why will one move to ISIS?
There is no doubt that NFC has a lot of potential but the late start in US (compared to the rest of the world implementations) has a lot of doubts about the success of the implementation.

2 Responses to “NFC and Austin”

  1. Michael Koploy Says:


    Thanks for reading my article. In respond to a couple of your questions:

    – Austin was chosen partly because of its mix of small business and nationwide brand presence, as well as its history of harboring early adopters. NYC and LA would also be good pilot cities for NFC – I believe Google Wallet is first launching in NYC and San Francisco, California this summer.

    – Most of the “push” from mobile companies will mostly need to come in the form of supporting phones that have NFC technology enabled. It will be interesting to see how many devices will have this technology come 2012.

    – NFC technically won’t cost consumers anything. The technology already exists within credit cards – it’s what allows some credit cards to be “tapped” instead of “swiped” and newer point of sale terminals.

    – Vendors will need to have terminals that accept NFC payments. As I stated above, many already do. The piece of technology missing right now is the capability within cell phones.

    – Square does seem like a direct competitor to the “NFC movement,” though the two really aren’t targeting the same audience. Square plays of the availability of mobile computers and phones to complete transactions. NFC uses the same terminals used to process credit cards, but instead accesses the account information by communicating with enabled cell phones. Square has recently lowered their transaction fee costs for retailers, so it will be interesting to see how to two sides compete over the next few years.

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