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Imagine being able to use your smartphone as a government-issued health card, to trade contact details with a friend or pay wirelessly for virtually everything from groceries to subway fare.

Sounds too high-tech to be true, right? Think again. Near-field Communications (NFC) technology is here and it’s poised to transform the way Canadians interact with their mobile devices.

The concept behind this cutting-edge tool is simple. It uses radio signals to connect NFC-enabled mobile smartphones—which must be equipped with an NFC SIM card and the appropriate apps to power transactions such as mobile payments—to interact with other app-enabled mobile devices or receivers.

What does this mean to you? NFC is what lets you turn your smartphone into a “mobile wallets” to pay for goods and services quickly, safely and securely.

But the real-world applications don’t end there. Major brands around the globe are using NFC technology to simplify everything from event ticketing to providing loyalty program points, all while using the tool to capture valuable consumer data. Some hotels are even using NFC to turn mobile devices into room keys, while governments are planning to leverage it to allow citizens to use their phones as high-tech identity or health cards.

Businesses are also finding creative ways to use NFC tools to their advantage. Some are using the technology at trade-show booths to transmit data between their showcases and attendees, then using the information they collect to drive sales leads and track their trade show return on investment. Others are using it to exchange business cards virtually.

No matter the application, count on NFC to forever change the way Canadians use their smartphones.

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