Picture the scene: You're in a shop. In one hand you're holding a sandwich and in the other your smartphone and you're in the queue for the checkout. Instead of fumbling for change or plucking a card from your wallet, you open a specially-designed app on the phone, key in a pin, and when you get to the front of the queue, you just beep, and walk out the door.
NFC: NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATION
By Burson-Marsteller, 2012
So What Exactly Is Near Field Communication
6 Cool Uses of NFC
View the slides for more
- ATI Log-IC NFC Logger
- Bus tickets
- Museum of London App
- Parking meters
It's basically a variation of other short-range wireless technologies already used throughout the world—especially in Japan and Europe.
, near field communication can quickly swap information between devices when they're touched together.
You can exchange things like text, images, URLs or other data simply by holding your phone up to various "smart tags."
Role of NFC in Mobile Payments
Following on from Future Perspective edition #8 on Funny Money
it is clear that, as mobile smartphone adoption has exploded, the expectation of contactless mobile payments has also grown exponentially.
The technology is reasonably mature and effective with extensive trials around the globe. ISIS and Google Wallet
are already in use in the US.
Visa, MC and Discover have each laid out a contactless roadmap, providing financial incentives for merchants to deploy contactless (Near Field Communication
Why The Delay
Trials demonstrate consistent consumer enthusiasm but handset manufacturers still rarely have NFC chips in new phone models. So what's been the reason for the delay?
Challenges related to technology standards, business models and merchant implementations have delayed progress.
Whilst some barriers may lie in consumer education and adoption, it is clear that the key barrier is the fact that the mobile value proposition has yet to be identified and defined.
As long as carriers, handset manufacturers and banks are unclear on how they will realize incremental revenues from mobile payment, there is a hesitation to deploy at scale.
Certain security concerns will also need to be addressed - see Google Wallet issue
Rumour Has It
A new patent suggests that Apple will be introducing a near-field communication (NFC) chip into its next-generation iPhone, which will enable users to quickly send iTunes gifts to one another.
If true, it means Apple would finally jump onto the mobile payments bandwagon, allowing its users to purchase goods and services directly through their smartphones.
By the end of the year the majority of smartphones that you purchase will have NFC on them.
Big high street players are getting in on the act. Tesco is rolling out near-field communications capabilities across Britain, ditto Boots the Chemist. McDonalds and Prêt a manger already have NFC communications equipment set up in their stores.
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