Near Field Communications: The Battle Over Consumer Transactions

March 25th, 2011 | Mobile Marketing | 3 Comments »

There seems to be a heated struggle between mobile phone manufacturers and mobile carriers.  In a recent article by Mobile Commerce Daily, both sides are furiously trying to position themselves as the primary model in which consumers utilize Near Field Communication (NFC).

NFC is the future of the mobile industry.  With such a high penetration rate, you’d be hard pressed to find a person in this country without a cell phone.  When NFC is released in the US en masse (Apple is rumored to incorporate it into their new iPhone) it will revolutionize how the public will use their phones.  People will eventually be able to make quick purchases (gas, movie tickets, fast food, etc.) with the wave of their mobile device.

The US mobile carriers announced ISIS, which is their bid to create a standard for enabling payment at retailers’ point of sale.  Several handset manufacturers are exploring alternatives to this model.  Both sides want control over the transactions and all the data that comes with it.

Ultimately it’s not up to either to decide which is best.  The consumers will dictate what model will succeed (think VHS vs. beta; Blu-ray vs. HD DVD).  The consumer has to feel comfortable about the security of these transactions and the set up has to be very easy.  If I have an NFC enabled phone I want the freedom to make sure anytime I purchase something it is taken from my bank or credit card.  I don’t want an extra bill to have to deal with.  I also want to know that when I make these purchases, my accounts are not going to get hacked.

NFC is just the next step in transforming our mobile phones into the most important device we own.  Think about it, we can already control our electronic home devices from our mobile phones, we can start our cars with our phones, we pay bills with our phones, just imagine using your phone to buy that double scooped ice cream cone at the fairground by waving it next to a mobile reader.

Would love to hear your thoughts on NFC and it’s future.