Monday, November 08, 2010

Mobile Retailing and NFC - Near Field Communications

The host of our CIO Council, Chris Albinson of Panorama Capital, today predicted that within one year mobile money will be on everyone's radar.  I asked for more details from several experts over dinner this evening and they predicted that iPhone 5 will have embedded NFC (near field communication) chips.  Google will announce mobile payment strategies, and so will other big players in the mobile money space like PayPal.  NFC are chips that can communicate personal data when they touch POS (point of sale) sensors.

What does this mean for enterprises in the retail space?  Who knows!  All I know is that everything from POS systems, to banking systems, EDI transactions and credit and debit card systems will be impacted.  Your smartphone will likely become your wallet.  The chip in the smartphone will uniquely identify you and provide you with the ability to pay for all kinds of things by just touching your smartphone to a counter top sensor.

Other things that can be done with the chip is to check into locations, so you can have personalized service based upon your account information, history, preferences, etc.

Can you image the enormous changes mobile money will bring to the banking and credit/debit card industries?  MNOs (mobile network operators) are already involved in the mobile banking and online payment industry in Asia and Africa.  In Asia and Africa, where many people do not use banks or have bank accounts,  wireless carriers are providing many banking functions.

The industry players that control smartphones with NFC chips, wireless services, POS systems, online money, payment and banking infrastructures are up for a very interesting ride.  Software companies like Smartsoft Mobile Solutions that focus on mobile retailing solutions will be right in the middle of these changes.

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Kevin Benedict, SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst
Phone +1 208-991-4410
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Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility consultant, mobility analyst, writer and Web 2.0 marketing professional. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.