NFC set to revolutionise connectivity and payment?

Until recently, NFC received little attention outside technology circles. Most often, it has been described as the next version of contactless technology for smart cards already used at many retail locations, in public-transit systems and to gain entry into secure buildings around the world.

But analysts and industry players say contactless payments in phones, or “mobile payments,” is only the beginning for NFC technology. When fully adopted, NFC is expected to alter how society communicates and functions on an everyday basis.

Multiple industries have the existing infrastructure to support NFC technology. But as it rolls out to consumers, industry players need to iron out details surrounding payment structures, compatibility and availability of devices, revenue sharing and costs.

Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance recently said “We’re all sitting and waiting while the giants position themselves and find their position of strength in the market. And in the meantime, consumers have to wait.”

For those who think of themselves as technologically challenged, NFC could be a lifesaver. Co-founders Nokia, Sony and Royal Phillips Electronics (now NXP Semiconductors) designed the technology with a goal of making mobile devices more intuitive and easier to use.

Unlike other contactless technologies, NFC switches among three modes of usage, according to the NFC Forum, which was co-founded by Sony, Nokia and NXP in 2004 and sets NFC specifications.

In card emulation mode, the chip stores information in the same way a smart card does. In reader/writer mode, the chip reads and runs data similar to how point-of-sale terminals read smart cards to complete payment transactions.

This is where merchants and advertisers can benefit from mobile payments via NFC, Vanderhoof said.

Read more here: Arizona Republic.

Related articles:

US: Network operators create mobile commerce network for NFC payments.

NFC coming to smartphones; Google, Apple and Nokia making plans.

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