Why are NFC and the payment industry so far apart?

Why is NFC technology not as widespread as some would have you believe?

For the last few years, the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the payment world has been the "next big thing." However, you are more likely to use the chip to send pictures between smartphones or connect a device to a third party peripheral. The question then becomes, why have payments and NFC not been joined in a partnership yet?

A recent article from the Calgary Herald examined the current landscape of NFC technology and attempted to answer this question. According to the news source, the problem is not the technology, but rather the system or solutions around it.

"It starts with the banks and credit companies that need to invest in the new opportunity and bridge consumers and merchants by offering a secure and standard payment system," the article reads. "Then you need to convince merchants that this is a better way of taking payments than what they already have. Merchants have a substantial investment in the terminals, training and technology needed to accept mobile payments."

The piece also mentions that there are already customer options, like the Starbucks payment application, that allows users to have a barcode on their smartphones scanned by a device at the POS terminal and offers a secure connection.

This does not mean that NFC as a payment option is dead. In fact, as more consumers get their hands on smartphones, especially as companies like Apple make them less expensive, incorporating them into the payment process seems like an inevitability. Merchants need to keep an eye on the industry to ensure they do not get bypassed by the trend.

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