The Current State of NFC

As with any revolutionary technology, the rollout of near field technology is taking time and is being implemented in different ways. This is partly because there is a lack of uniformity between technology and methods of payment and partly because every company capable of impacting the rollout of this new technology wants to be the first to do it, or the first to do it in their way. This will attract customers and therefore revenue and reputation among their consumer base. The ways I will focus on in this post are Google Wallet, the iPhone, Visa cards, and PayPal.

Google Wallet

Gotta love Google, don’t you? I mean, when they aren’t asking you what you really meant when you typed in “Piza New York.” I hate that. Yes, Google, that is what I meant. You know that. Why bring it up. At least Word has the decency to just correct my obvious mistake (see what I did there?). 

Anyway, Google Wallet’s pretty awesome and, if I had to guess, the way in which we will interact with NFC, at least as a way to start making payments. What I particularly like about it is that it doesn’t just focus on letting you pay for things in a certain way, but it truly attempts to become your wallet. Just give me a space to put in some severely outdated pictures of old girlfriends and the baby picture of my niece who just graduated and you have my wallet just the way I’ve had it for twenty years. Thanks, Google, for making me a lazier person rather than forcing me to become a better one.

iPhone

I admit, the first smartphone I actually enjoyed was the first generation of the iPhone. Before that, in true PC fashion, smartphones were like, well, smart people. Sure, they usually know a lot of stuff, but they just usually need help expressing what they know. Same thing with early smartphones. They could do a lot of stuff the iPhone could do (and more) but I could so easily access the features of iPhone that I forgave it for forcing me to sacrifice some of the features of my Blackberry. 

As far as NFC is concerned, they are kind of behind on the game, though it does seem according to this article that they are going to get to the party fashionably late with iPhone 4. It probably won’t miss out on anything considering the fact that I have yet to see NFC in my daily life (though we are a bit behind the times here) they probably aren’t missing out on any revenue. 

Visa Cards

I found this article interesting because it illustrates the difficulty companies are facing when trying to come up with ways to implement NFC. There is a certain uniformity to the codes companies have to follow regarding electronic payment, but other than that, interfaces are up to the individual companies themselves. This article discusses how Visa, not being a digital payment system to start, had to use certain tactics to make it a digital entity even to the smallest degree as it makes the transition from plastic card company to digital NFC entity.

PayPal

I love PayPal. When it came about I just about jumped out of my chair with joy. As a freelance journalist, do the research, write the piece, send it in, have it edited, make any changes, send it in again, wait for it to be published, and then wait for a check to be mailed, and then wait for the physical check, deposit it, wait for it to clear, and enjoy those 50 bucks! Drinks are on me provided they are purchased by me and for me and no one else!

In a kind of unassuming way, PayPal has become a mainstay of modern life and seeks to remain this way with what they are bringing to the Android marketplace. Should be interesting to see where they go from there, but I have trust that it will be somewhere at my fingertips.

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