14th November 2011
Are you ready for the Near Field Communication boom?
Some experts said Near Field Communication — or NFC — technology wouldn’t happen in Australia until 2014. It turns out they were wrong.
NFC became a reality for Australia a few weeks ago with CommBank’s launch of its free banking app Kaching. The app lets you pay people over phone, email or Facebook and also allows contactless payment at NFC-enabled readers in retail areas.
The Australian predicted recently the first commercial contactless mobile payment system would arrive Down Under by the new year. In Australia, considered a top 5 mobile market because so many people here use smartphones, 60 per cent of brands have already implemented some type of mobile initiative, says a story on Computerworld. This means current mobile usage trends support the widespread use of an app like Kaching.
In addition to allowing you to pay peers via phone, email or social media, NFC technology also permits point-of-sale purchasing in stores with contactless readers, plus coupon redemption and use of loyalty rewards. While mobile companies like Nokia and Samsung have phones with NFC, many experts are touting the release of the iPhone 5 as the true starting point for widespread adoption of the technology. According to a Juniper Research report, one in six users of mobile phones will own handsets with NFC capability by 2014. Nearly half of all mobile handsets will also be NFC-equipped by this time.
The Kaching app is compatible with iPhone 3GS, 4 or 4S. Users will need to purchase an NFC-enabled iCarte case to use the app. Those interested in signing up for Kaching can visit the web site to register their interest and get notified once the app is available.
How do you feel about NFC technology? Do you plan to use the Kaching app for your banking and shopping?