Article in Mobile Future category.
Carrying A Smartphone AND A Wallet? How 2010
Credit CardsSquare, Venmo, PayPal. These are all great, but they're all missing one major feature: an easy way to buy things. With square, the merchant…
Credit CardsSquare, Venmo, PayPal. These are all great, but they're all missing one major feature: an easy way to buy things. With square, the merchant swipes an "old-school" credit card and then the user signs for it on the screen. With Venmo, the vendor has to check their email or text message to verify a payment. PayPal has the same problems as Venmo, but is more costly for vendors, the app is slower, and the customer service less friendly. What we really need is a way to pay instantly. And it's almost here. Rumors are that the iPhone 5 will include NFC (Near Field Communication). The new Nexus S from Google already has it (currently one-way, but two-way expected in a update soon).
NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices that will soon be popping up everywhere, predominately on mobile phones. By far the most exciting possibility with this is the ability to use a phone as a wallet. It has already been dubbed the iWallet for the iPhone 5. Mobile phones with this technology would be able to just wave their phone infront of a sensor and atomically charge their purchase, similar to a speed pass at a gas station. Hopefully this won't effect innocent bystandards walking a little to close to payment sensors or hopefully it will if im buying. NFC chip embedded phones could easily alleviate all issues you may run into with current mobile payment systems.
Although the functionality of the NFC chip in the Nexus S isn't high, Google is starting to send out Google Places stickers that can be read by NFC chips. It allows users to pull up information for the website or rate the place. NFC chips also allow for interactive advertising as it can read text, URL's, contact information and other data. There's countless features that can be implemented with the wide spread use of NFC chips, but I'm most excited about the "iWallet"
Image from letsgomobile.org