As Near Field Communications (NFC) stories spun like roulette wheels at CES in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, the emergence of several new devices caught my eye.
For some time now, we have been blogging about NFC as the technology of choice when using mobile devices for e-payment. To highlight this point Gemalto demonstrated in the Verizon innovation booth logical access to a corporate laptop using a mobile handset as the second factor for authentication. This was accomplished by storing the user’s identity certificate within a secure element (SIM card) inserted into an NFC-enabled smartphone. The phone becomes the users digital identity which once read by a NFC enable reader in a computer allows the user to gain access to the corporate network by simply entering a PIN, replacing the need for a corporate badge or token system.
You can find out more in this video we put together at the event:
Elsewhere, Intel announced an ultrabook equipped with an NFC reader which we have blogged about due to the huge buzz it generated online when launched. This is clearly focused on the ecommerce market in an attempt to make payment experiences easier and more secure for consumers. With this type of device, users no longer have to enter their credit card information into a web browser. Once prompted, they simply use the mobile wallet on their NFC handset or their contactless credit card to provide payment details for a website. This along with a PIN provides strong authentication and a secure ecommerce experience.
So, with all these NFC developments, it’s pleasing to see that Forbes Magazine has also recently given NFC the edge in the mobile payment race. No doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more about NFC in 2012.