The One Point has made a major investment in near field communications (NFC), claiming the technology has huge b2b potential.
The unified comms dealer explained that while the technology is largely synonymous with the payments industry, there is a significant opportunity to introduce the feature alongside mobile.
Speaking to Mobile, MD Martin Lauer said that customers are familiar with the everyday use cases of NFC, such as London’s Oyster cards, making it easier to then sell them the same solution for their business. He said that the industry has yet to catch on to this new revenue stream, which he claimed earned the dealer 500 new connections in the past month.
‘I don’t think people realise just how important NFC is and how mobile is becoming central to every transaction. We’re getting to grips with it and have invested heavily in understanding NFC and the security behind it. Just in the past four weeks we’ve gained 500 new business connections, all of which came from NFC.
‘From a consumer perspective it is understood in terms of mobile payments. If you move that into a business environment, it can be used to prove that you were on site, or used in healthcare to monitor patients and care workers. NFC can link into databases and systems, it’s a game changer but people don’t know it.’
The One Point works with the NHS as a registered supplier, providing NFC-enabled mobile devices to staff to give access to care records. The business also covers the security and logistics side of things, providing device-management tools and remote wiping for the device.
Lauer explained that dealers are now ramping up their value-added services around mobile but he believes it doesn’t need to be about price. According to the MD, a value-added service can be as simple as introducing new technology, such as NFC, into a new area of business.
‘We provide mobile devices with NFC features built in,’ he said, ‘and then work with third-party software companies to take a record on the smartphone when the NFC device is blipped against a corresponding tag. This can be for a parcel delivery or to check on patients and we’re providing real-time communications between the device and software.
‘Dealers need to be able to add value and that’s the challenge. Adding value doesn’t have to be always price led, it could be giving advice, adding security or even finding new ways of getting that bit of innovation into a certain business.’