If you were on Twitter on 9th January during CES 2012 at the time of the Intel press conference you would have seen the Twittersphere explode following the unveiling of Intel’s new ultrabook. That wasn’t the reason for all the tweets, however swanky the ultrabook looks and feels. The reason, in my view, is that NFC technology has been built into it. Indeed, you can now tap your credit card on the laptop to make a payment. To quote tech blogger Sylvie Barak: Intel demos NFC on an ultrabook: tap your credit card on your laptop touchpad to pay. #AWESOME #CES #eet_CES
This is yet another great example of technology increasingly moving towards removing barriers to the payment ecosystem. NFC can ultimately make the entire payment process much more convenient. No more having to type in lengthy card numbers or remember PIN codes – what’s there not to like?
With that said, one aspect of payments this doesn’t obviate is the security angle. NFC, while amazingly convenient for consumers and retailers, still needs certification by card issuers and should also be supported with PIN verification for two factor authentication. Especially as the US moves toward EMV and a secure payment card, both the card and the mobile/device form factor will need the ability to support NFC with multifactor authentication to offer both secure AND convenient technology. We’re working closely to help secure the Isis mobile commerce platform to bring NFC payments and services to consumers in the US. Intel’s announcement adds to the NFC buzz, offering convenient payments on a great new device, and definitely helps put NFC on the mainstream agenda. Next up, and of no lesser importance, is ensuring security is in place.