Archive

Posts Tagged ‘PayPal’

NFC powered mobile payments may be the future, and Apple is taking the lead

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Google and Samsung partnered up to release the world’s first NFC-enabled handset running the Android OS, the Nexus S. But, as anticipated, Apple has started to prepare their defenses. Bloomberg reports that NFC, or Near Field Communications will be embedded in Appple’s 5th generation of iPhone and their soon-to-be-announced iPad 2. This will allow these devices to be used as mobile payment terminals when they come within a certain distance of an NFC-powered register. Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group spoke with Bloomberg and told them that

The services are based on “Near-Field Communication,” a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches, due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone for AT&T Inc. and the iPad 2, Doherty said. Both products are likely to be introduced this year, he said, citing engineers who are working on hardware for the Apple project.

The payment system would tie into your iTunes account, accessing your credit card information within the program’s database. Although at first this seems a bit scary, it’s a convenient method that a lot of consumers use on a regular basis. PayPal, eBay, Amazon, iTunes and other online-based shopping experiences tap into your bank account directly based on the information you input when signing up for accounts. However, who is to say that this technology could not be used in a negative manner. What if hackers stumble upon a method of using NFC to transfer funds from your mobile device tapped to your checking/savings account into an account of their own? Anyone passing by you in a busy place could sap money with a few seconds without you, or the thief ever making any awkward/obvious movements. Next-gen pick pockets could have a field day.

As for other uses of NFC technology, earlier rumors via TUAW and MacDailyNews, suggested that Apple has been working on NFC-enabled Mac computers as well. Apple would essentially morph your phone into “a passcode-protected electronic wallet or security passkey (like a SecureID fob) that would communicate via the short-range wireless technology to other compatible devices.” Your iPhone would transfer the personality of your home or work Mac to the NFC-compatible terminal. If hotel rooms and other public places adopted the use of this technology, no one would need to carry a MacBook around. Simply swipe your iPhone 5 in front of the supplied public-access Mac and poof. You now have your computer in front of you.  Once you walk away from the remote Mac, it reverts back to its initial personality, with all of your information disappearing from the Mac but securely stored on your iPhone, notes TUAW.

NFC technology was introduced to the public as a gamble on Google’s part, but may change the way we interact with objects on a daily basis in the coming years due to Apple. Come on Steve, we know Bill stole your thunder way back when, but is vengeance projected onto Google really necessary? I personally don’t mind. As I said in the iOS 4.3 article, I love this kind of competition. Let the games begin.

[Sources: TUAW, MobileMarketingWatch, MacDailyNews, Bloomberg]

Advertisements