Near field communications (NFC) is a technology that has the potential to create a great deal of convenience to keep all of the different forms of identification that we need on a regular basis all easily accessible and in the same place.
NFC is a form of contactless credential technology that can make a mobile device act as credit cards, debit cards, and even points and loyalty cards, or other types of identification such as a driver’s license. It promises to one day provide us with the chance to use a single mobile device – such as a cell phone or tablet – to keep all of our credentials securely available to us whenever we need them.
Currently, there are only a few mobile phones enabled with NFC technology, such as the Nokia C7 and the Google Nexus S. However, those models do allow for a form of smart card that is secure and contactless, with a level of security that is considered the equivalent to electronic passports and other highly secure electronic credentials.
The reason that NFC is especially beneficial is that as the technology reaches greater penetration, it will allow the mobile device holders to use them virtually anywhere and at anytime through a secure connection. This can mean that without a physical wallet and cards, purchases can be made with credit cards and a person can be identified through official ID using their device.
In fact, the devices enabled with NFC can also make it easier to sign on to websites, loyalty programs, and other networks, so that the need for multiple passwords will be all but eliminated.