projects

NFC Voucher
Vouchers based on Near Field Communication
01/01/2008 - 31/12/2009
Has been finalized

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range, wireless connectivity technology that allows consumers to perform safe, contactless transactions, access digital content and connect electronic devices with the simplicity of a single touch. Products with built-in NFC technology will dramatically simplify the way consumer devices interact with one another, helping people speed connections, receive and share information and even make fast and secure payments.
Consumers with NFC-enabled mobile phones may, for example, leave their wallets at home and use their phones to enact contactless financial transactions, or to gain electronic access to public transportation. NFC can be used with a variety of devices, from mobile phones that enable payment or from digital cameras to transfer photos to a TV set with just a touch. The possibilities are endless, and NFC is sure to take the complexities out of today’s increasingly sophisticated consumer devices and make them simpler to use.

Currently, the meal vouchers are only issued on paper. This paper variant has some disadvantages. In particular, the issuing (printing) and processing (collection, reading, clearing) are very time-consuming processes and consequently quite costly. With the current technology, a logical candidate to replace the paper meal voucher would be the smartcard. This technology is being used already for debit- and credit cards and can also be used as electronic purse. However, this technology has still some disadvantages. The card – as such – has no display, no keyboard and no online communication means and consequently a payment terminal infrastructure needs to be foreseen. Some e-purse projects that were undertaken in the past have clearly proven that this is expensive and that consequently the business case is not that evident for micro-payments.

NFC is an alternative technology next to smartcards which is currently still premature but seems to be very promising. In today’s world where usability, flexibility, mobility and timing are crucial parameters of our society, the NFC technology seems to be a good candidate to replace the paper meal voucher.

In the scope of this project, the different partners will analyse the possibilities of the so-called NFC-Voucher, i.e. meal vouchers are no longer spent by making use of a smartcard but instead by making use of an NFC-enabled mobile phone. The concept of NFC-Vouchers meets the requirements of “usability” (using mobile phone for payment by ‘tap-and-go’ is a very easy way of payment), “flexibility” (you can use it on all places where NFC terminals are ready to accept your mobile phone), “mobility” (you have your mobile phone always at hand) and “timing” (contactless payment is quicker than contact payment). With NFC technology a lot of the disadvantages of the paper meal voucher and even of smartcards can be solved in an alternative way.

During the course of this project the impact and the different aspects of the introduction of a new communication means for the meal voucher concept will be analysed : business model, usability, security, communication cost, etc. It is the aim to actually develop during the timeframe of this project an NFC Voucher Application in the form of a demonstrator. This demonstrator could be the start of the launch, productisation and commercialization of NFC-Vouchers as alternative to paper meal vouchers.

In order to investigate this, several partners were grouped to look at the NFC-Voucher concept from different angles of view. These different competences can consequently be used for the demonstrator.
 

Partners: Integri;Clear2pay;Keyware;Accor Services Belgium;K.U.Leuven-COSIC;K.U.Leuven-ICRI;UGent-WICA

Budget: 1.235.597 €