NFC, from a hardware perspective, is yet to see mass adoption. While it’s easy enough to push the technology out to consumers over the course of a few years, support from retailers doesn’t look to be advancing very fast and could reasonably take another decade before we see significant commitment outside of the technology hubs of the world.
However, a few retailers are taking matters into their own hands and pushing out smartphone apps that encourage cashless payment outside of some sort of standardised NFC system. In this article, I’ll take a look at the current state of cashless payments in my daily life.
A few days ago I reviewed Google Wallet and talked a little bit about Near Field Communication (NFC). As you may have read, Google Wallet allows people to use their credit cards, gift cards, and reward cards without having a physical card on them. They can use the app to scan the card using NFC. Google Wallet also offers NFC-only coupons through participating businesses. I truly believe that with the help of Google, NFC will revolutionize how we use our mobile devices – and not just with financial information.
My friend and I, both Software Engineers, have had fairly lengthy discussions recently about uses for NFC and what it means for the future of mobile. We’ve discussed its current capabilities, its potential capabilities, and the possible issues that will arise.
One of the features of the Galaxy Nexus that I was most excited for was the inclusion of a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip. NFC allows devices in close proximity (very close: about 7 inches) to send information to each other. This can work for just about anything; v-cards, directions, websites, apps, and even money. I think with wide-spread adoption, NFC could be the next big thing; but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. For today, I’m going to review Google’s flagship app for NFC, Google Wallet.
Google Wallet was released for Android this week. The vision is to aggregate all your payment methods – making up the third generation of payments, according to Google, after coins and paper – into a single app that can be applied to real life commerce. As they put it: “Make your phone your wallet.”
This is achieved through near-field communications, a Bluetooth-like technology that can perform an unpaired data transfer with something in the general vicinity (generally around 4cm away). The term is generally used to refer to a method of commerce between untethered devices. Let’s find out more about it.