One mobile payment technology that will become a household name in 2011 is Near Field Communication or NFC technology — a short-range wireless technology, not dissimilar to Bluetooth, that can be used to make electronic payments quickly and without hassle. It is being designed into the next generation smart phone by Google with its Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), Apple with the iPhone 5, RIMin the new BlackBerry, Nokia and household names. Visa and MasterCard to name a few. Obviously if all the major players are getting behind a technology it is only going to be a matter of time when it is available to the masses. In the scheme of things, who isn’t looking to make life simpler and if I can get through a checkout line quicker, that is a huge value to me as a shopper. My top two complaints about shopping: can’t find items and time spent waiting in checkout lines. Both of these will probably be solved in the very near future with mobile applications and Near Field Communication.
NFC technology will quickly start showing up in stores in conjunction with other mobile applications. Using your smart phone to scan items, redeem coupons and then paying as you exit without interacting with a checkout person is in the near future.
Paying at store checkouts will be one example of the technology but I expect the technology to spread too many other payment and information based uses. One application will be a much more simplified way to pay for tickets at events such as movie theaters. Bump and go will become a very common way to buy your tickets. Another application will be the interactions with RFID tags. Any item that has an RFID tag could also provide information such as how many are in stock, when they were purchased, sizes, colors, reviews etc…. Walking up and buying a pop from a machine will become point and click.