The iPhone 5 which is going to be launched in January 2011 is making the techies excited with expectations. There is also some expectation of Apple adding the NFC or Near Field Communication to the smart phone. This is a technology to read credit cards that might be present in the next generation of iPhones. This will allow the iPhone customers to actually wave their mobile phones and pay bills using their device as a card for payment instead of the credit cards, which could well be in their last stage.
The idea of using mobile phones as credit devices has been setting the industry abuzz for a while. There have been experiments conducted by giants of the credit card industry like MasterCard and Visa. Meanwhile Discover Financial Services is also looking for a solution through a collaborative effort with the British Barclays Bank. The collaboration also involves T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T, who are trying to enable smart phones to pay for purchases instead of the credit cards.
Although companies in US are still experimenting around with the idea of paying charges through their mobile phones, the actual idea has been practically implemented in various other countries and has been there for a long time. There is a chip for wireless payment embedded in the mobile phones in Japan and South Korea. This enables users of the mobile phones to pay for almost everything that one would spend on in day to day life, including movie tickets, restaurants and groceries. Even the UK is not lagging far behind with mobile phones experimenting with special SIM cards that will enable payments through the mobile phones targeting the Olympics in London 2012. If they succeed, it would be the first time the idea has been deployed for mass marketing outside Asia.
The Near Field Communication technology, which might be used in the iPhone 5 uses wireless communications of short range to send data across from the mobile phone to the point of sale device from a distance of 3-4 inches. Thus waving the iPhone over the device in the cash register will do instead of a slow and annoying process of swiping the card and signing. This technology which looks likely to become popular might make electronic wallets popular, sending plastic cash into oblivion. Representatives from card giants feel that this technology could change the entire shape of the credit card industry.