Wednesday, June 01, 2005

RFID And The Cell Phone

From Moneycentral/ The rising stars in RFID technology .

While radio-frequency identification has moved into the mainstream, shares in companies liked Unova, Gillette and Samsys have soared. Here's where the chip-based technology is taking us now.

The coolest new mainstream use of RFID might be in MasterCard’s new PayPass debit cards.

These cards have a super-thin RFID antenna built into them in addition to the usual magnetic strip. To pay, a cardholder simply taps a PayPass-enabled MasterCard on a special terminal rather than handing the card to a store employee. In a couple of seconds, the cardholder’s account info is transmitted through the MasterCard network for verification, clearing and settlement.

If the payment is for less than $25, the customer does not need to sign a receipt or enter a personal identification number.

RFID is also cropping up in mobile phones. Cellular giant Motorola has joined forces with MasterCard to field-test phones equipped with “near field communication” systems that will enable the handheld device to act much like a PayPass card for low-value payments.

Meanwhile, Nokia has pushed a little farther out in front by building RFID antennas into the press-on “skins” of one line of phones.

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