Mobile phones change the way we do business, pay bills, shop, gather info, consume media and a whole lot more.
A recent study by MasterCard indicated that 63% of young mobile users (ages 18-34) are comfortable purchasing items through mobile devices. So whether you own a mobile website or are designing or promoting one, it’s a smart idea to get acquainted with this latest trend.
NFC (Near Field Communication) is the name for the wireless technology that allows phones to swap data simply by placing them near one another. Waving, touching or tapping your phone onto/near another mobile device causes an interaction to occur between the two.
- “Mobile wallet” – phone acts like a credit or debit card for purchasing items
- Ticketing – phone grants access to public transportation like subways, buses, etc.
- Reading capability - phone is tapped or waved over a card/tag/sticker to bring up additional info.
- Key substitute – phones used to unlock doors
A Budding Market
This might all come as shocking news. No sweat – NFC technology is still pretty new and is only recently showing up more and more on American markets. (Asia and Europe were ahead of us with this one.)
Not all mobile phones come equipped with NFC functioning. A bunch of Nokia and Samsung phones already have this technology. The new BlackBerry Bold 9900/9300 will have it when released this summer, and Apple has announced that future generations of the iPod, iPad and iPhone will allow for financial transactions.
This means that more and more users will be able to leave their wallets at home, and just use their phone.
Are You Ready for NFC and Mobile Payments?!
Because it’s such a new concept, a lot of people have a hard time wrapping their heads around the possibility of completing secure, private transactions through their phones. It’s hard to trust that your personal information is safe when it travels over an invisible worldwide network.
Older consumers (35+) may not be too quick to leave their credit card information with an online merchant.
Some believe that NFC technology will eventually wipe out the need for cash.
Others fear it’s the “Mark of the Beast” warned of in Revelations.
How do you feel about it? Cast your vote here and let your voice be heard.