Until a few days ago NFC, meant National Football Conference to me, but after a little research I learned it also means Near Field Communication, (and Apple’s announcement of Apple Pay™) and it is an exploding field in the Financial and Telecommunication world. You most likely already have Smartcards with “tap” capabilities but more is coming (real soon now).
What is NFC? Here is a helpful quick explanation on the topic:
Nifty and helpful isn’t it, and it will make your life so much simpler, as well. Apple’s announcement of Apple Pay™ as part of the iPhone 6.0, so you can use your phone to “tap and pay” (you don’t even need your wallet any more just wander around with your phone), may be a “game changer” in terms of either payment systems or Smartphones (not sure which). Currently you can use your phone to “pay” but it typically uses the “scanner” capability (i.e. throw up a bar code or scatter code on the smartphone screen, and scan it), will folks adopt this new payment system? Given Apple’s ability to market things, my guess is yes, all the Hipsters will be flocking to using Apple Pay™.
The Disney store is adding payment machines that allow you to pay “on the fly” with your NFC-capable payment thing-a-ma-bob, so you can take your trendy iPhone 6.0 and buy some Disney stuff, Yea!!
Isn’t this a wonderful world we live in? Um, no, not for an old grizzled tech geek like me. All I see with this is yet another way to either:
- Impulse spend without having to think about the consequences (the battle cry of the hipster, cappuccino sipping generation)
- Another possible security breach that can empty my bank account (or at least put a dent in it)
If you read the Wikipedia page you will see a nice line that states:
Although the communication range of NFC is limited to a few centimeters, NFC alone does not ensure secure communications.
That is one of the kickers to watch. There are lots of really nifty security stuff built into this technology (I am not a complete Luddite, I do realize folks do try to be secure in these products, I just don’t think they do enough), but it is still susceptible to a few common lines of attack, from those desperadoes out there trying to steal your money (without having to have a gun, or even seeing you). Look up “man in the middle attacks” on Google, for a good example.
The peril of losing your phone now is much more severe as well, and equally important, is to have a good password on your phone (so that folks can’t easily borrow it to pay for things).