(Note: The reason I am posting this article is to keep us aware of progressive strides in technology that, at this point, look harmless. It will become more and more logical to have an easier method to buy and sell. In Revelation we are told that the Anti-Christ will require all people to have his mark on their forehead or on their right hand to be able to buy and sell. My opinion is that technology such as credit cards, phone apps, medical information which is now in chips in animals and some alzheimer’s patients, will become not only more widely used, but eventually required. Just keep our eyes open to these possibilities.)
Is Your Phone Your Next Credit Card?
You may soon find yourself reaching for your smartphone instead of your wallet to pay for purchases. Cell phone manufacturers are getting serious about integrating Near Field Communication (NFC) technology into smartphone applications for retail transactions.
How does it work? NFC technology enables smartphones and other devices to communicate when close together. Just wave your smartphone in front of a retailer’s terminal and your purchase will be automatically deducted from your credit card.
The technology isn’t big yet in the United States, but in Tokyo passengers are buying train tickets with their contactless payment systems. And a Swedish company is testing NFC-enabled cell phones as hotel keys. The NFC Forum was formed in 2004 to help advance the technology, and more and more U.S. cell phone manufacturers today are developing phones equipped with NFC.
What else can it do? NFC technology has the potential to be used in thousands of interactive applications. In addition to transmitting information from your smartphone, you can also use your phone to read NFC tags. These tags, placed on posters, books, bus stop signs and other sites, allow the smartphone user to gain information from the tagged source. For example, diners can pass their phone over a menu to gain information about a restaurant’s nightly specials, and doctors and nurses can use an NFC tag to learn information about patients and track their visits.
Is it safe? Because NFC transmissions are extremely short range, the technology is relatively secure, and many cell phone manufacturers are deeming it safer than a plastic credit card. An NFC-enabled device keeps your account information encrypted and password-protected, rather than printed outright on your card. As with most payment devices, NFC technology has some transmission risks, but many of these bugs are being worked out before the retail apps are introduced en masse.
As cool as NFC sounds, it will not eliminate concerns about identity theft.