Recently we’ve been hearing a lot about NFC or near-field communication and just a couple of recent posts have been about the possibility of it coming to the Apple iPhone 5 and also Samsung and Visa bringing NFC technology to the 2012 Olympics in London. Today’s news is about the launch of the Isis NFC payment system in 2012 and the first place it’s coming to is Salt Lake City.
Just in case you’re not yet aware of what NFC is, it’s a mobile payment system that means with just a tap of a handset with a special in-built chip, you’ll be able to use your smartphone for payment. Google’s Nexus S phone already has NFC-capability and it will surely be implemented in many more upcoming handsets. Isis is a venture between bankers and firms such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and the fact that its first contactless payment scheme area has been announced is a real step forward.
The news that Salt Lake City, Utah will be first, comes to us from Vlad Savov over on Engadget, and as Savov points out, some may be surprised that the launch isn’t taking place in a more tech-savvy area, such as California or New York. However many people in Salt Lake City may be pretty interested in the idea of being the first to use this ‘mobile wallet’ system. An added bonus is that a deal has already been struck between Isis and the Utah Transit Authority, which means that anywhere in that area there will be NFC-compatibility allowing people to pay with their smartphones.
You can find out much more about the Isis payment system including a video which will illustrate what it’s all about, at the website here. You may also be interested in news that Sprint Nextel plans to begin it’s own ‘Tap-and-Go’ system later this year and you can read more about that at AfterDawn. It’s certainly an interesting concept although like anything else, any problems with the system may not be exposed until it starts being used comprehensively so Salt Lake City will be an intriguing test in this form of mobile commerce. Are you in Salt Lake City and are you looking forward to trying out NFC? Let us know how you feel about this by sending us your comments.