With Nokia launching its Lumia 920 with built-in NFC and payment extras, alongside the NFC-packing Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X superphones, industry body GSMA says the technology for contactless payments and digital wallet services is finally reaching a larger and more mainstream audience. Reed Peterson, VP and head of NFC at the GSMA said: 'With nine out of the 10 largest manufacturers supporting SIM-based mobile NFC, we are on our way to building an interoperable service for everyone to enjoy. NFC services [can] move beyond payments – encompassing other digital services such as ticketing, couponing and access control.'
Upcoming superphones rumoured to support NFC include the new Apple iPhone launching on 12 September, Motorola's Intel-powered Edge handset on 18 September, and new HTC Android phones at its launch event on 19 September - though it hasn't been confirmed whether these are new handsets or existing flagship devices such as its One series built with new NFC operability and services. NFC tech is gaining traction in the UK, with one million transactions in a month recorded a couple weeks ago. We just tested out Visa's 'pay and wave' NFC payments app, while Orange and Barclaycard are offering customers £50 to grab a Samsung Galaxy S III and activate its Quick Tap payment app.
Though mobile payment apps such as Visa's Paywave and Quick Tap are the most immediate applications of NFC tech, as the technology matures and its infrastructure grows, we can expect even more futuristic features to land in the here and now.