If money is going to the cloud, and connectivity is everywhere, why do we need NFC? – Question from Tim Green, Mobile Money Revolution

Last updated: 20 March 2014

Continuing our Mobile World Congress influencer Q&A series, Tim Green from Mobile Money Revolution has asked why we need NFC when our money is going to the cloud and connectivity is everywhere. He believes that we could use email or apps instead. Do we think some new form of OTA mobile payment is the future?

Ultimately, we believe that there are a number of technologies available that could or should be used depending on the specific use case and the level of security required. There is definitely a trend of payments moving to the cloud, and apps and web-based payment methods are all existing options for payment applications and digital wallets. Gemalto delivers these solutions to service providers worldwide, providing rich and convenient payment and banking services.

The question of whether we need NFC is an interesting one, not least as there has been some skepticism over the years as to whether it’ll actually take off. We actually ran a Contactless Challenge not so long ago (in the UK in London and across two cities – Salt Lake City and Austin – in the USA) to see how NFC-enabled some of our biggest and most technologically advanced cities are. You can see some of the results here.

However, the key attribute of NFC is the user experience – the ability to tap, without launching an app, logging in or pressing buttons – which is superior to other channels. The fact that NFC also works without WiFi or data (meaning it supports an offline option) is also an advantage. Imagine you’re in the Metro with no reception but you can use your cell phone as your NFC-enabled ticket to swipe through the barrier, or you’re in a big retail shop with no reception and need to buy this specific item before heading home.

We debunked a number of NFC myths which people tend to quote when asked why they don’t use NFC or see it becoming an alternative payment method. The next time you’re asked if you think NFC won’t take off, have this to hand to help you win the argument!

If you want to trial some NFC technology, stop by our stand in Hall 5, 5A80, where we have The Wallet Wall with a number of ways of paying using your mobile device securely and conveniently. The focus should always be on ‘trust’ and how to ensure the consumer has enough ‘trust’ in the various ways we can spend our money in 21st century.

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