We’ve all glared with envy at those banking adverts, where Mr. Average Joe gets to race through a water slide on his way to his office, or joyfully whizz through the city skyline on a rollercoaster. The premise being that contactless technology will make your life one long, happy-go-lucky, fun fare ride.
Well thanks to Orange and Barclaycard, Near Field Technology or contactless payment will be made available to the masses this summer through your mobile phone. The user will be able to make financial transactions with their mobile phone by scanning the mobile across a pay point, or even transfer money and information to a friend by touching the two handsets together. Imagine being able to nip out of the office at lunchtime and buy a sandwich with your phone. See, you’re having fun already aren’t you.
As with the aforementioned TV adverts, Barclays will be responsible for managing the new payment system, which has been described as the biggest revolution in payment technology since the introduction of the credit card.
Barclaycard spokesman David Chan said: ‘Having a wallet on my phone has made it much more convenient to make purchases on the move.’
Customers with a Barclaycard, Barclays debit card or Orange credit card can utilize the system via a downloadable app. They can load up to £100 on to the phone account.
But many believe that life with NFC will not be super smooth rollercoaster, but a very bumpy one fraught with dangers, the main one being fraud. Consumers have been assured that the information passing between handsets or from mobile to scanner will be encrypted and cannot be intercepted.
The main fear of course is that as a result of us losing or selling phones with NFC capabilities will mean people could potentially have a whale of a time with our cash, simply by waving it here and there. But creators of NFC have been quick to dampen fears of security, explaining that a quick call to your network provider can completely lock your handset and all the payment systems.