Near Field Communication

Even though QR codes are big right now, there is a silent runner up that will soon be big.  It’s called Near Field Communication and is somewhat similar to QR code technology.  Near Field Communication, or NFC, allows you to make simple transactions, data exchange and wireless connections between two mobile devices.  The devices need to be in close proximity to each other, no more than a few centimeters. 

With NFC, a chip is embedded into your phone that allows you to store information such as credit card info. and much more.  A perfect use for this would be at any store, you would be able to hold your phone to a scanner and it will read your credit card information and charge accordingly.  It is also used in other areas such as eCommerce, Bluetooth and WiFi, social networking and personal identity documents. 

It can be used in PayPal, Google Wallet, coupons, boarding passes, ticketing, mobile payment and much more!  The purpose of NFC is to not only increase the speed and accuracy of the transaction but also reduce overhead such as staffing.  With NFC, this technology would allow companies to staff less on the account that one person can do so much more with this NFC technology!  At many stores, a simple swipe of your phone is enough to pay for your order.  Only in a few places, like the UK and Australia for example, require you to enter a PIN number for transactions over $100.  ID cards, rental cars, hotels and key cards are also utilizing this NFC technology.

The benefits of NFC are endless.  To name a few are security, versatility, one touch!, and interoperability.  I think that within the next couple of years you will see Near Field Communication blooming up just like QR codes has in the past year. The only thing that I worry about is how the security is going to work with Near Field Communication.  I see problems arising if you leave your phone at home by accident and don't bring your wallet or what if someone steals your phone?  I think that this is still too new of a technology to tell how it will all work out.  I just hope that they test all of the bugs out first before making a mass release to the public.  Especially since identity theft is a number one concern among Americans, we need to make sure that our identities are not being compromised at the expense of modern day technology.