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Beyond 2013: The NFC Smartphone Campus Futurescape

University Business, March 2013

What will be the future NFC smartphone technology landscape on college and university campuses?

“The whole idea is that anything you can do today with a key or a card, tomorrow you will be able to do that with your phone,” points out Jeremy Earles, a product marketing manager at Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, which partnered with Villanova University (Pa.) on its advancing NFC smartphone installation.

These applications include not only paying for laundry services and college meals and using vending machines, but also shopping at the campus store. Here is what Earles envisions for the smartphone of tomorrow:

  • Mass transit fares – on and off campus
  • Off-campus dining
  • Off-campus retail purchases
  • Logging on to campus computers
  • Buying e-books from the campus book store
  • Location-based messaging, ads, and coupons for items and events nearby

In addition, there are phone-based e-wallets, NFC-enabled posters, and more as increasing capabilities converge on NFC smartphones. According to Sarah Ledwith, the marketing manager for colleges and universities at CBORD, NFC smartphones can replace:

  • Keys
  • Credit cards
  • Identification cards, and
  • Magstripe cards

The goal, sums up Earles, is to converge everything onto the smartphone so that students only have to carry the one device.