Coming to a Windows Phone near you… Near Field Communications! Sounds scary? It probably is, since it’s the technical term for contactless payment. As a precaution, most banks are limiting the service to around £15 transactions at a time, but what techie isn’t curious about this awesome new way to pay for stuff we probably don’t need, I certainly know I am! If you live in the UK, you’ve probably seen that advert from Barclay’s where the guy is sliding around paying for stuff by wafting his card in front of a reader, despite how cool he looked, there’s only one retailer in England that I know of who accept such payment methods.
Can you guess who?
That’s right folks, McDonald’s - the biggest burger joint on Earth does indeed accept Barclay’s contactless payment via a phone equipped with NFC or a Barclay’s debit\credit card. Could their food get any faster? Apparently so. The only problem facing consumers now is how to get in with this new technology without loosing personal choice. Only a handful of manufacturers and Barclay’s produce such technology at present in the UK, but that is only until Windows Phone weigh in sometime soon in 2012, which probably means HTC and Nokia will back the technology with their own hardware. Orange have also committed to trying this new tech out, already offering a service with Barclay’s via the Samsung Tocco. I’ve not tried it out, but I don’t think I have to wait long ;)
So if you want to ditch chip and pin, and look a little more smug then the average person found in a coffee shop already does, get on-board with Orange and Barclay’s. The hardware manufacturer’s will likely fall in line this year, so you should still have some choice over the actual handset (unless you’re an Apple fan, who aren’t planning on it any time soon). So, 2012 will be the year of wafting for payment if all goes well.