The release of the Samsung Google Nexus S 4Ghinted at NFC based project development Google has been working on. All the speculation was confirmed when Google officially announced the launch of Google wallet earlier last week, which will allow users to perform transactions via their NFC supported smartphone. No more cash or credit cards. Payments will be made with a quick swipe. Google and their Nexus S device are a step ahead of the game, but are consumers truly ready to embrace NFC payments at physical locations?
Consumers have used credit cards as a type of cashless payment for decades and NFC is a natural progression with advancing technology. Over the past decade, consumers have become more comfortable with online payments. It of course, took time to convince consumers that their personal information was safe and secure. Today, thousands make online payments and transactions daily through services, such as paypal. There are, of course, many who question the safety of online transactions.Now technology has moved us towards providing us with the option to pay for services/products off of our smartphones. If Google decides to heavily push their NFC payment service, they and other vendors will have to convince consumers that it is safe. Smartphones are prone to hacking and may have vulnerable security flaws that a thief could exploit.
It also wouldn’t be wise to rely primarily on a smartphone as a payment option, as they can power off from low cell phone battery life or be damaged unexpectedly. Losing access to your smartphone means you limit your payment options. So will our current payment options go away? Not any time soon. NFC payments won’t phase out credit cards completely, but join them as alternative payment options. NFC enabled smartphones are also currently limited and until smartphone ownership increases, NFC payments will consist of a small demographic. Google will also have to heavily develop the infrastructure with merchants, which will considerable time.
It’s quite rare for a consumer to make a costly transaction on their mobile device. Mobile payments are still a work in progress and similar to online payments, will take time for consumers to adjust to.