New NFC trials have been popping up throughout the world lately.
This month, FC Barcelona has partnered with the R&D team at Telefonica for a three-year trial. While their goal is to test a wide range of mobile communication technologies, NFC will be an important focus.
Telefonica will be testing new ticket sales systems at FC Barcelona\’s stadium, Camp Nou. In addition, they will also create a club-branded virtual mobile operator that will use its network.
Telefonica is also currently holding an internal trial at its District C headquarters in Madrid. Initially 1,000 staff members were involved, but the company plans to expand regularly until 12,500 are using NFC-enabled devices.
In other parts of the world, Vodafone has just launched a trial in New Zealand. The company\’s Chief Executive, Russell Stanners, hasn\’t provided many details about the trial, but said that we can expect Vodafone to make an announcement on NFC in the next few weeks.
MasterCard recently kicked off a trial in New Zealand when it partnered with ANZ. New payment terminals will be installed in stores and taxis and consumers can make payments via a sticker that has been placed on their phones.
Even Lithuania is getting in on the NFC action. The 2011 European Men\’s Basketball Championship (EuroBasket 2011) will be held in Lithuania and fans will be able to take advantage of the new mobile payment service, MokiPay, which will act as an official tournament billing system. The service will be initially be available to Omnitel subscribers and users of the Omnitel Extra prepaid services. More than 2,000 payment terminals are expected to be operating in Lithuania during this time.
I\’m excited to hear how these trials go and what they\’ve learned about NFC adoption in their respective countries. Of course, I\’m more excited to discover how the U.S. market adapts to NFC. We\’re kicking off our U.S. trial in just a few short weeks, but we\’re implementing QR codes until NFC hits critical mass in the states. But we\’re eagerly awaiting more results from other American NFC trials in the mean time!
If you\’re interested in participating in one of Kuapay\’s trials, keep an eye on our blog as we\’ll be announcing details about our private beta soon.