Put Your Money Where Your Mobile Is

Keep your eye on your wallet - it's going the way of landlines and lickable stamps. And behind the demise?…

Your mobile phone. It’s all about Near Field Communications, NFC for short. Bump or touch an NFC-enabled phone, tied to your credit card, PayPal or Google Wallet account, with another NFC device and you can make a secure payment for a wide range of products or services on the spot. Even non-monetary uses—like replacing a building access card or split-second sharing of contact information—are on the rise.

NFC also delivers companies more comprehensive consumer information than ever before. Each tap produces a complete consumer profile and behavioral pattern, including whether or not they purchased the item they viewed. This kind of insight will allow you to create optimized consumer-specific promotions and pricing...but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.


Here are our predictions for how NFC might impact your world in 2012:


  •     Travel and tourism. Cab fares paid with a tap. Check in to your hotel with a phone, and use it as your room key, too. Zip around the city on the metro (no metro card needed). Redeem tickets to a local art gallery and use your phone to access bonus material.


  •     Retail. Say goodbye to long checkout lines, loyalty and gift cards and printed coupons. Say hello to reduced staffing, increased productivity, a better customer experience and increased consumer intelligence.


  •     Watch for new companies to sprout out of the NFC sphere, including analytics companies and devices that can be activated through NFC tags, like speakers, light fixtures and alarm clocks.