[Dave Birch] The pride of association football, Manchester City Football Club, are also the pride of the smart card world.  The first football club in Britain to have an all-smart card (ie, no paper tickets) stadium, they have been blazing a trail in the use of NFC phones for entitlement and access control.  City equipped 30 fans at the beginning of the season with Nokia 3220 NFC phones to store ticket information and open stadium turnstiles when held against a contactless reader.

‘The trial proved the technology works and the feedback from fans of all ages has been positive,’ said Duncan Martin, head of retail at Manchester City (who described the contactless access scheme to the fifth annual Digital Identity Forum) says ‘We must now wait on the development of mobile phones equipped to accept NFC.’  Quite, but it won’t be too long.  More importantly, he goes on to say that ‘we believe that eventually more mobile phones will be used to gain entry to the stadium than smartcards.’  Duncan is a very sensible guy, so if he says that, I take him seriously.  It seems to me that the kind of evolution we are seeing here — from paper, to contactless, to NFC — will be replicated across many sectors, with the obvious implication that anyone designing an identity, entitlement or access card scheme today must be designing it with the roadmap to mobile in mind.

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Manchester City’s motto is "Superbia in proelia," which as every Latin scholar knows means "Pride in battle".  Let’s hope they can translate it into Greek for Georgie Samaras before tomorrow’s critical near-bottom of the table clash against Charlton.  I’m looking at my "Kevin Keegan’s Blue & White Army" flag as I type, my eyes misting over…

These opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]

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