Is Near Field Communication Really on its Way?

It seems so, at least in the USA.  Near Field Communication or NFC for short is expected to replace credit and debit cards at some point in the future.  This means that smartphone users will simply use their device to pay for anything from a cup of coffee to white goods.

NFC has been coming though for quite a while now, and it is really only since the middle of last year, I think, that anything remotely like it has been in operation.  Orange in the UK teamed up with a bank to offer something resembling a contactless payment system, but it isn’t exactly what NFC is supposed to be about.

However, in the USA, the concept is gradually taking hold, with a number of companies now offering contactless payment solutions.  One company energetically backing this is Square, which is based in New York.  Megan Quinn, Director of Products at Square told sfgate.com “What we wanted to focus on was removing the mechanics of the transaction and building the relationship between the merchant and customer.”

Google itself has produced its own version of NFC technology called the Google Wallet, while major financial institutions are also looking at various ways to get into this very lucrative business operation.  The companies range from North American companies such as Verifone to more internationally recognised giants such as PayPal.

The latter interestingly is a third party gateway rather than just a bank.  It is used by a whole host of businesses across the world including some very small businesses.

I, for one am looking forward to getting rid of my debit card.

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