Phone based Credit Card

August 1, 2006 at 7:01 pm (Hardware, Science)

phonemoneyBy next year, you’ll be able to pay simply by swiping your cellphone a few inches from a cash register, with a new wireless standard called Near Field Communication. An NFC chip in your phone will send your credit-card number—stored on your phone or on the chip—by way of short-distance radio waves. An electronic reader at the checkout will decode the number and ring up your purchase.

Unlike radio-frequency identification (RFID) and other existing contactless payment systems, NFC chips allow two-way information exchange by rolling an RF transmitter and reader into one five-millimeter package. That means the chip can also take in data, such as a receipt zapped to it by a cash register or a bus schedule from a tag embedded in a bus-stop sign.

You don’t even have to buy a new phone. When it hits stores next spring, the miniSD-card-size adapter from SanDisk can add NFC to any smartphone with a Symbian operating system when it hits stores next spring. The first pay-by-phone option should roll out later this year, with more applications to follow.

Watch some photos of its usage @ Popular Science


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