NFC: Near Field Communication


Pros and Cons of NFC Technology

The NFC Forum listed the following as potential benefits:

Intuitive –
interactions require no more than a simple touch

Versatile –
ideally suited to the broadest range of industries, environments, and uses

Open and standards-based –
underlying layers of follow universally implemented ISO, ECMA, and ETSI standards

Technology-enabling –
facilitates fast and simple setup of wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.

Inherently secure –
transmissions are short range

Interoperable –
works with existing contactless card technologies

Security-ready –
has built-in capabilities to support secure applications

Some of the cons for NFC technology include:

Security concerns:
Risk of Fraud –
From a blog post by Tiernan Ray: “the most likely method of funding a mobile wallet, by tapping into a bank account, doesn’t actually clear the funds till an overnight update happens, unlike traditional debit cards, where money is cleared right away. [This] means merchants can be left hanging when there are insufficient funds.”

Agreement and Competition –
Multiple markets (phone manufacturers, banks, merchants, consumers, credit card companies, etc.) must all agree that NFC is the way of the mobile commerce future so that all the necessary infrastructure can be put in place.

Increasing Incentives for Adoption–
Stores and merchants need adequate incentive to purchase readers, which will only occur with enough demand from customers – it would be very easy for the entire system to stick to the status quo.

Affordability and Adoption of Smart Devices –
In October 2010, comScore reported that only 25 percent of US mobile subscribers own smart phones.

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