OMNICARD 2013: NFC Beyond Payment & Ticketing

With the growing popularity of NFC smartphones, the managing director of LEGIC Identsystems AG, Klaus Klosa, explains both the possibilities and challenges of NFC technology in contactless people identification.

Today, it’s quite simple to store an electronic key on an NFC smartphone due to the existing LEGIC reader infrastructure, which has been available for years. In the near future, these electronic keys will be able to be allocated and removed over the mobile telephone network, regardless of time or place. LEGIC is already developing a web-based administration system for this.

With this technology, some questions are being asked. How can already established contactless card applications be transferred to NFC smartphones at a reasonable cost? Are they any stumbling blocks within the business model or the technology itself? Klaus Klosa, Managing Director of LEGIC, answered these questions during his speech at OMNICARD 2013 in Berlin.

The first pre-requisite for ID solutions via NFC is a new generation of SIM cards and essential back-end systems. Beginning in 2013, these will be put in place by mobile network operators (MNOs). Companies with the necessary know-how, such as LEGIC, are capable of connecting MNOs’ back-end systems with existing ID applications. With these new Trusted Services, established applications such as access control, parking or canteen applications can be easily used with new NFC mobile telephones.

There are also challenges to meet from an economical viewpoint. For example, there are over 100,000 ID systems supporting 150 million users in the LEGIC eco-system alone. In order to make solutions possible in the NFC field for every smartphone user, agreements with every single system operator and MNO are necessary. After having had very high price proposals in the beginning, some MNOs have and adapted their expectations.

To smooth the way for marketable ID solutions via NFC, someone has to maintain and manage the connection between the different infrastructures, markets and actors. “As a supplier of ID core elements, LEGIC will provide a Trusted Service to its partners,” explained Klosa.

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