First Russian company joins NFC Forum

i-Free, a Russian provider and marketer of mobile technology solutions,* has acceded to NFC Forum, the international organization that spearheads NFC development globally, on all levels. i-Free is now the first Russian company among NFC Forum members.

i-Free is a Russian innovation company on the CIS market since 2001, focused on the development and implementation of innovation products in mobile technology, electronic finance, digital content distribution, electronic payment systems, micropayments, SmartPhone applications and new network devices, digital product marketing in B2C marketplace, B2B projects in mobile marketing, and NFC technology and services.

Outside Russia, i-Free operates successfully and has offices in Kyiv (Ukraine), Minsk (Belarus), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Mumbai (India), Beijing (China) and Sao-Paolo (Brazil). i-Free products and services are on the market in over 100 countries. i-Free, headquartered in St. Petersburg, also has an office in Moscow. The company currently employs over 350 staff.

Development of innovative products and services has always been a priority for i-Free. The company has created and piloted new solutions and services for several years, employing the latest technology and catering to a broad consumer audience.

i-Free was one of the pioneers of NFC-based products and services in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.** i-Free has tested and piloted a range of new solutions in the past two years, so the company’s accession to the NFC Forum appears to be a logical segue. In joining the NFC Forum, the intention of i-Free is to instrumentally contribute to promoting the NFC standard, take part in NFC Forum projects globally and in Russia, share ideas and expertise and enlarge its partner network.

“We have designed NFC-based products and services for a few years,” said Andrei Pristinsky, who is in charge of innovation projects at i-Free. “But we are on a whole new level now, so partnership with a high-profile industry association like the NFC Forum will really help us be as productive as we can be. We plan to aggressively promote the NFC standard and network extensively with international companies.”

One of the NFC projects completed by i-Free to date is a pilot NFC “hot spot” within the confines of a standalone office infrastructure. The project was successfully tested in St. Petersburg earlier this year.

Another NFC project now ready for commercial launch is School Online, a service package i-Free has designed for public schools. i-Free has prototyped a school student ID for this project which operates as an NFC proximity card combining several functions: school access, library card, cash-free accounting, and others.

i-Free has a few more NFC products and services in its near-term pipeline. A number of projects, which are now ready for piloting, will serve many different user cohorts.

Find more on i-Free at its website.

* In Russia and the CIS. Source: AC&M Consulting
** NFC (Near Field Communication) is a short-range high-frequency wireless communication technology which enables data exchange between electronic devices over about a 10 centimeter distance.