Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Ways NFC Technology Could Rock Your World

        Tech | Wireless

5
NFC Pays Your Way
Billfolds are so … analog. With Google Wallet and similar NFC services, you can simply touch a cash register to pay, and then be on your way.
Billfolds are so … analog. With Google Wallet and similar NFC services, you can simply touch a cash register to pay, and then be on your way.
Courtesy Google

Chuck your cash in the trash and snip every last credit card into itty bitty pieces. With NFC, your smartphone becomes an ATM machine and credit device all in one. Instead of counting cash or swiping a card, you'll just wave your phone at a payment kiosk to complete a transaction and receive an email receipt instead of paper one.

Of all of the capabilities that NFC may bring to fruition, payment options are perhaps the likeliest to emerge soon. Executives at Google actually expect NFC smartphones to account for about 50 percent of the phone marketplace by 2014 [source: Popular Science], which would likely benefit its Google Wallet application. Google Wallet is a smartphone app that lets you wave your phone at a properly-equipped point-of-sale register to pay for all kinds of goods and services.

Other credit card companies and wireless service providers are working on similar systems to compete with Google. And it's that competition and lack of standardization, along with a lack of NFC-capable checkout systems at your local stores, that may delay the deployment of widespread NFC payment options.

Still, some pundits, including those at Juniper Research, expect that NFC transactions will hit around $50 billion by 2014 [source: Retail Merchandiser]. So be ready – your days of lugging around multiple plastic cards and a wad of paper money might just be numbered.


More to Explore