Every great business has by now ensured that their website is mobile-friendly — that when the company’s URL is typed into a smartphone or tablet, the mobile friendly version appears with a smart-phone-friendly UI that is easy to navigate. This kind of techis now taken for granted in the business world, but only a few years ago, many companies were woefully behind. A business-facing mobile app allows a company to carve out a small tract of customer real estate with each interaction, which allows your marketing team to calculate user behavior and preferences. It’s now impossible to imagine conducting business today without this kind of connectivity.

One popular technology being embraced by more and more companies Near-field communication (or NFC) and businesses who are embracing it are already seeing returns. NFC is a collection of communication protocols that allows two electronic devices to establish communication once they are brought within a few centimeters of one another. Obviously one of the more prevalent uses of this technology is to allow smart wallet functions, which essentially allows people to pay for items with their phone in lieu of a credit card.

After a customer launches the payment application on their smartphone, tapping the terminal allows for an instant connection using NFC. For purposes of security, a customer may then be asked to scan a finger or enter a password to approve the transaction. Business transactions are then validated with a separate secure element (or SE) chip, which relays the authorization information back to the NFC modem. At that point, the transaction finishes, much in the way credit card payment functions. This is convenient for any business, but the functionality is much deeper than this simple interaction.

Staff Communication

Near-field communication tags enable business to track employee locations and record time spent on the clock or on break to minimize time theft and maximize productivity on the job. Additionally, as employees go from task to task, they can automatically update what jobs they’ve finished and what they’re moving on to next, which is a vital use of this tech for any company with employees on the move.

Real Time Updates

Real time updates are absolutely critical in any fast-paced business environment. The ability to track employees and immediately read updated notes from all staff and managers can happen instantly thanks to NFC. Managers and employees can have instant access to one another, enabling more effective scheduling throughout the business day. In a retail scenario, if a customer needed assistance, all a manager would need to do was wave his or her smartphone over a nearby NFC tag to summon the relevant information or sales associate to help.

If you’re a business owner, you are likely wondering how to tap this vital resource, and the solution is to partner up with a reputable mobile app development company. Start locally, and then move concentrically outward. If your company is based in the GTA, check out Clearbridge Mobile in Toronto first. Either way, you’ll want a company that brings an impressive portfolio to the table and can oversee your entire NFC overhaul.

A company like Clearbridge Mobile, who comes backed with a portfolio including companies like Microsoft, PayPal, Disney, and the New York Times, should be one of the first groups you contact. From there, you can work out the mobile package you need, from consulting to development, through design and UX to quality assurance and testing. If a developer like Clearbridge can help coffee giant Tim Hortons develop a thorough NFC platform, imagine what they can do for your company.