Four of the UK’s big five networks have put their differences aside for a mammoth NFC love-in. NFC, or Near Field Communication to use it’s full seven-syllable title, is the technology that’ll hypothetically eliminate the need for cash or plastic. Ahem.
Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere (no Three?) have teamed up to provide an open platform for other businesses, ensuring the imminent NFC explosion touches as many consumers as possible.
It’s expected that users will also benefit from location-specific offers, so you can get 2-for-1 Big Macs from your local McDonald’s and that. Delicious.
What are the suits saying?
Vodafone UK’s CEO, Guy Laurence, reckons you'll only need one pocket in future. Laurence says: "Currently people take their mobile, wallet and keys when they leave home. In the near future, people will now start leaving their wallet at home, and in the mid term their keys may also be integrated into their mobile as NFC allows the mobile to act as a digital access card. The joint venture is the next phase in realising that ambition."
Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefónica UK (O2 and giffgaff’s parent company), said: "The mobile marketing and payments market is extremely fragmented. This is not just something that is unique in the UK, but a joint venture that will create a model that many countries around the world could follow."
Tom Alexander, Everything Everywhere’s CEO, suggests: "The benefits [of this joint venture] will be felt across the whole industry, allowing people to manage their money and make payments using their handsets, helping advertisers reach their customers on the move, and helping banks provide their clients with an easy and convenient way of making payments.”
Phe-ew. If there’s one thing that worries me about the future, it’s the ability of advertisers to reach me on the move. Otherwise, how will I know what to buy?
Am I the only person who isn’t sold on NFC? I reckon it’s my second most-hated technology behind stupid mother @£$%^&* 3D.