Will our phones replace our wallets?

Is it that outrageous to think phones could replace our wallets in the near future? No, but when will it actually happen? Who knows but PayPal boldly predicts the wallet will be dead by 2015. Their thought is digital currency will be accepted everywhere in the U.S. so we will no longer need to carry a wallet. 2015 might be a little ambitious but with the growing acceptance of Near Field Communications technology, we should be aware of what the future holds.

What is Near Field Communications (NFC)? NFC is a standards-based, short-range (a few centimeters) wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions between electronic devices, allowing consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content, and connect electronic devices with a single touch.

NFC technology can be used in the form of contactless payments, sharing of content, and ticketing and transportation just to mention a few. Companies are launching products that will use the NFC technology such as Google Wallet, an android app that stores virtual versions of your existing plastic cards on your phone. In addition to mobile payments, other capabilities include tapping a device to purchase rail, metro, or airline tickets, tapping a poster tag to see info on videos and movies, or tapping a display to receive an instant coupon. NFC promotes quick and easy sharing of files such as photos, songs, business cards, and allows you to connect with Facebook friends with a simple touch. You could even carry personal identification cards, keycards, and hotel keys on your NFC enabled device.

Are you wondering if your phone is equipped with NFC technology? The list is not that extensive yet but predictions show rapid adoption of NFC services over the next few years. There are various market projections but Juniper Research forecasts that 1 in 5 smartphones worldwide will have NFC contactless functionality over the next 3 years. To easily identify where NFC-enabled devices can be used, the NFC Forum developed the “N-Mark” trademark as a universal symbol for NFC.

With the capabilities of NFC enabled devices, your wallet could become a thing of the past. There are obvious concerns from potential customers but as time passes, I’m sure we will begin to trust and adopt this new way of life. How concerned were you the first time you made a purchase on the Internet? Do you even give it a second thought now? Will you trust the technology and allow it to add simplicity and convenience to your life or will you fight it? As leisure marketing specialists, we at CCT Advertising will continue to follow the NFC technology as it evolves and identify opportunities this may present for our clients.

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