NFC technology may be losing ground in the mobile commerce space
NFC technology has been getting a lot of attention lately, especially as the technology becomes more common in smartphones and tablets. NFC has been gaining momentum in marketing for some time, but also forms the backbone of most mobile commerce platforms. The technology facilitates data transfers over short distances, which is quite useful for people looking to share pictures, music, and videos with their friends through their mobile devices. NFC supports mobile payments through the same process of data transfer. Though NFC has been gaining ground with consumers and has helped mobile commerce becomes a global phenomenon, the technology may soon be dethroned by none other than Apple.
Apple has a modest interest in the technology for mobile payments. The company’s iPhone supports various mobile commerce applications that do not make use of NFC technology. The iPhone itself does not support the technology because of Apple concerns regarding the security aspects of NFC. Apple boasts of 40% of the device market worldwide, making its lack of support for NFC technology somewhat problematic for applications developers and mobile commerce firms interested in using the technology. NFC may soon see more turbulence as Apple’s new biometric technology catches on.
Apple finds alternatives to NFC
Apple has unveiled its highly anticipated iPhone 5S, which boasts of a variety of features that are likely to excite tech-savvy people. The device is also equipped with new fingerprint scanning technology developed by Apple. The technology is meant to provide better security for the iPhone and this could be the replacement for NFC technology that the company has been looking for. The technology could potentially solve Apple’s security problems when it comes to NFC and mobile commerce because a fingerprint sensor would be a better authentication tool than NFC itself.
The company is not only focusing on fingerprints to make mobile commerce more secure, of course. Apple has also been working on a service called iBeacon, which is meant to detect the presence of a mobile device in a physical store through the use of Bluetooth technology. This would allow the device to initiative mobile payments and the service itself could be more flexible than NFC technology.
Apple is not the only one looking to move mobile commerce away from NFC technology. PayPal and Square, both of whom have strong presences in the mobile commerce space, have been offering alternative mobile commerce services that do not focus on the use of NFC technology. Instead, these services either utilize Bluetooth technology or QR codes, making mobile commerce more accessible to a wider range of people.
NFC may not be a part of mobile commerce forever
Part of the reason NFC has been losing ground in the mobile commerce field is because of the low availability of NFC-enabled devices. These devices are becoming more common around the world, but it could be years before they are as available as more conventional smartphones and tablets that do not use NFC in any way. Eventually, mobile commerce may break away from NFC completely, but the technology is likely to still have uses in the field of marketing and could remain an effect tool for data sharing in the future.
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