Digital Currency – There’s an App for That… so how much longer do I have to carry this ca$h?
Money and its progression has always shaped our consumer-based world. First there was barter, then coins, paper, plastic, PayPal, and now, phones? NFC, or Near Field Communication, is the new revolution in mobile, and ultimately, offline commerce. Devices with NFC chips completely replace your credit cards and lighten your wallet. These NFC devices have a sensor that only activates within 4 centimeters, so we’ll be waving our magic mobiles at something to buy groceries by year’s end.
Google Wallet is a mobile payment system that was released on September 19, 2011, which will make use of NFC to make payments at stores, and is sure to be a game-changer. Simply put, Google Wallet uses Near Field Communication to "make secure payments fast and convenient by simply tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout.” Inside the app are virtual replicas of your physical credit cards, so the card information will be stored in the app and will be used to make the transactions.
It’s not as though swiping cards and signing receipts are time consuming and exhausting tasks, but this is definitely one of those things that is going to make your life easier. This tapping technology will keep evolving in all aspects of life, and I am personally excited to see what amazing marketing uses NFC will bring.
NFC SmartPosters are objects which contain readable NFC tags – with a “touchpoint,” indicating where you should hold your device close to receive the message stored inside. Some examples from the NFC Forum include a poster with a web address for buying sports tickets, a timetable displayed at a bus stop, and coupons in a magazine page ad.
Uses in the NEAR Future include:
- File Sharing: Tap your NFC device with a friend’s to share a song, photo, video, or app.
- E-Business Card: Tap NFC devices to instantly share business cards and resumes.
- Instant Money Transfers: To pay a friend, tap devices and enter payment.
- Friend Me Now: Tap to become Facebook friends and “check-in” places.
- Mobile Gaming: To enter a multi-player game, just tap.
- Payment: Simply tap your phone to make a payment at checkout in stores (and cabs!)
- Tickets: Tap your device to get metro, airline, movie, & concert tickets.
- Boarding Pass: Your NFC device can be your boarding pass, reducing check-in time.
- Mobile Marketing: Tap a SmartPoster or advertisement to get a movie trailer and more information.
- Coupons: Tap a product display or advertisement and get a coupon.
But is it secure?
It would appear so – you need a PIN code to unlock the app to pay for stuff. The NFC chip is locked down hardcore too, it is disabled when the display is off. It will also become more crucial to use a PIN to lock and secure your phone. And after a set amount of time has passed, you’re required to enter your PIN to make a payment.
Obviously this is a very exciting time in this Digital Age, not only for tech and shopping junkies, but also for that friend who tends to leave their wallet at the bar. The only real downside then being when that newly-upgraded friend gets pushed into the pool, or gets caught in the rain, he could lose not only his cell phone but also all access to money. Hopefully we’ll all be careful.
Yes, you still have a driver’s license and car keys to carry separately, but don’t worry, soon there’ll be an app for that. So for the keychain companies that might take a hit, we’re sorry.