Near Field Communication tags — stickers embedded with wireless technology — were seen as a bridge technology for contactless payments in the U.S. before phones came with NFC built-in. In India, however, NFC tags are proving to have a much longer shelf life.

Mumbai-based startup Zeta, specializing in digitizing general employee expenses like meal vouchers, medical or fuel reimbursements, says various companies across India are using the Zeta Super Tag by adhering it to pens, ID cards, key chains or other objects they carry with them.

In all, about 8,000 employees in the country are making payments in workplace cafeterias with NFC-enhanced belongings, the company said in an Aug. 24 press release. If the user misplaces the Super Tag, any future use can be blocked through the Zeta app.

Currently, the Super Tag is set up for employee cafeterias and food courts, with links to the meal voucher accounts of those employees. Zeta says it plans to expand the NFC tag concept to include more merchants in the future.

Though it doesn't stir the same type of interest that mobile wallets and omnichannel commerce command in today's payments industry, the NFC tag has been around in various forms for more than five years with major banks adding the concept to the early days of mobile payment strategies. As various applications and forms for NFC became clearer, the payment tag has been taken a step further to concepts such as payment tattoos.

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