I live in a town that isn’t really considered a city, but is home to two colleges and one satellite university campus. There’s plenty of people here, and while I would call it small, I know there are plenty of people here who wouldn’t. But, because of this place’s size, we are still missing quite a bit that other actual cities to the North and South have: 4G LTE-connectivity from Verizon; or even 3G-connectivity from AT&T. Yes, I mean that. So, living here means we don’t really get to experience all the cool things that other places do.
Paying in random locations with your smartphone is one of them. In fact, I can’t actually think of a place that allows you to pay with your smartphone. NFC payments is a feature that may be getting popular in some areas around the world, but here locally it hasn’t even broke the surface.
And I can’t help but wonder how many different places are like this. There was a short stint there where NFC was a big deal. People even made a brouhaha over the fact that the Galaxy Nexus with Verizon’s branding didn’t launch with Google Wallet. That would lead me to believe that there are a lot of people out there who are already using NFC payments, or at least really, really want to.
In my area, there’s a retailer that uses a Square attachment on their iPod Touch to take payments. In others, you can pass your credit (or debit) card over a station to make a payment. But still, there’s no option to do it with your phone.
Obviously NFC payments aren’t going away anytime soon. The fact that people want it, and payment stations are indeed found all across the United States, means that even if places like where I live are still missing the feature, means that manufacturers are going to make sure the option is there.
And let’s not forget about the competition. If NFC payments weren’t sticking around, there wouldn’t be any competition cropping up to try and secure customers. Google has their own proprietary Wallet. Verizon is still planning on incorporating ISIS payments at some point in the future. And even PayPal showed off their own NFC payments last year.
Competition grows from desire, and people want to be able to pay for things with their phones.
I think I’ve missed the wave, though. More than a year ago I asked you all if NFC payments were the way of the future, and considering it’s still around and people still want it, I don’t think anyone could argue that NFC isn’t at least part of the future of our phones. But, considering I’ve only ever read about it, and have yet to actually use it, my desire to has faded dramatically.
I honestly think paying with your phone is a cool idea, and if I had access to it every day I could see myself taking part in it. But I have no idea when I will have access to it on a regular basis. It could be soon, or it could not be. Either way, as it stands right now, I don’t think I’m actually looking forward to getting NFC on a new phone, or using it when it does finally land in retail locations.
Have you used it? Do you use it regularly? If you do, which service do you use? And if you haven’t been able to use it, are you looking forward to it anymore? Let me know in the comments!