Saturday, October 21, 2006

Will NFC Leapfrog 2D Codes For Mobile Payment?

Do you know what this is?

It looks like it could be the first type of physical world hyperlink to be introduced by major brands in the States.

Citi, MasterCard, and Cingular welcome you to the New York City Mobile Trial. Over a period of 3 to 6 months they will be testing a convenient and secure way to pay and view/download content using a mobile phone.

Just like making a payment, to download content from a smart media poster simply tap your trial mobile phone on the download symbol located on the poster.

Not only does this provide a method to deliver content, but it also includes an mobile-commerce platform too.

How does it work?

Contactless payment cards, tags, and phones all feature an embedded chip and antennae. After you tap your PayPass device on the reader at checkout, the card/tag/phone securely transmits payment details wirelessly.

Account details are communicated directly to the special reader and are then processed through the highly trusted MasterCard acceptance network in the normal manner. Moments after you tap the reader with your card/tag/phone, you will receive payment confirmation and are on your way.

What interests me are 2 key technology providers, VivoTech and Nokia. VivoTech is one of the largest POS terminal players and Nokia is the largest mobile phone manufacturer.

Are we seeing the beginning of the mobile commerce platform?

Up until now, contactless payments faced an insurmountable obstacle to growth - billions in cost to replace or upgrade the installed base of 30 million merchant POS terminals.

Look at the physical world connection angle, I wonder.

What impact will this have on companies that sell retrofits for POS terminals to read 2d codes?

Won't all wireless carriers be forced to adopt this technology?

Movie theaters now just scan your credit card to confirm your ticket, now you can just scan your phone? Instead of issuing you a unique 2d code, your credit card number becomes the identifier.

Will this technology leapfrog scanning 2d codes for mobile payments? How does this affect the mobile coupon and mobile ticketing industry.

Do you know the next application Nokia offers after this?

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