Recently, a series of announcements from Citigroup, Google and Mastercard are talking-up the technology that allows for payment of purchases by simply waiving your cell phone near a point of sale device. The technology is called Near Field Communication (NFC) and when these chips are embedded in a mobile phone, they uniquely identify the purchaser and authorize and approve purchase transactions.
Google has announced its Android phones will support and contain the NFC chip, and there are conflicting rumors about whether Apple’s next phone (iPhone5) will contain the chip or not.
When it does become readily available it will be more secure (harder to copy and replicate) than the magnetic stripe on credit cards but it will allow for more collection and aggregation of your purchase transaction data than existing technologies like PayPal provide.
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