Paris-based Tagattitude, an electronic transactions company, is today announcing the availability of something it calls “NFC2.0,” which is a software-based NFC-like service. Similar to the technology known as NFC, or near field communication, Tagattitude’s solution also lets you make contactless transactions over short distances. But with NFC2.0, no special hardware is required, and it will work on any major smartphone platform, including Android, iOS, RIM’s BlackBerry and Nokia’s Symbian.
The technology is not only technically different from NFC, a hardware-based technology, its use cases are different as well. In addition to point-of-sale (POS) transactions (the primary focus for NFC), NFC2.0 can be used for e-commerce transactions, person-to-person payments, in-app payments and more.
Tagattitude, to be clear, is not a consumer-facing technology provider, but a B2B company that works with telecoms, banks and other financial services providers. When integrated into their own solutions, NFC2.0 uses a combination of an app, an inaudible super-sonic signal, and software at the point-of-sale or point-of-transaction. The company currently supports all web-connected POS terminals and is working with NCR to support ATMs.
Although you may not have heard of them, Tagattitude has been involved in the financial services industry since 2005. The company was founded by CEO Yves Eonnet, an electronic banking expert, and Herve Manceron, an expert in telecom. It already has solutions deployed in over 30 countries worldwide, primarily developing markets where “bankless” customers pay for goods at point-of-sale, pay each other, or pay their bills using their mobile devices. In these cases, the company’s patented NSDT and TagPay technology is used. With NSDT, audible music, not super-sonic audio as on smartphones, is used to facilitate the transaction.
The new NFC2.0 technology has already been integrated into the company’s TagPay application (a demo client app is here on iTunes), Tagattitude’s mobile payments platform, previously only available for feature phones. Because the company’s customers are primarily banks or financial services institutions, there’s no change in terms of where financial data is stored. Unlike mobile wallets (NFC or otherwise), your credit card information isn’t being saved to your device – it’s on the banks’ own servers. NFC2.0 (or, in the case of feature phones, NSDT) simply connects your phone to that data using an audio signal.
Today, Tagattitude is also making an SDK available to mobile app developers who want to integrate the technology into their own applications, starting with iOS, and soon Android, expected by year-end. The other platforms will be supported by Q1 2012.