The iPhone 5 was released last week, without NFC technology. NFC enthusiasts were looking forward to a more widely used device to push NFC to the main stream. However, Datacard Group’s director Sebastien Tormos has said that this speed bump won’t stop NFC technology from thriving.
The truth is, Datacard has already been using NFC technology for quite some time. According to ZDNet, banks and financial institutions have been using it too. Westpac has even partnered with MasterCard to try out NFC payments on Samsung Galaxy III handsets.
The iPhone isn’t the only acceptable handset. While it is widely used, there are plenty of other ways that NFC technology can be used. For example, Android and Samsung Galaxy phones are both creating more competition for Apple, and both companies are more open-minded when it comes to NFC compatibilities.
Tormos said that bridging technologies can be helpful as well. Datacard plans on creating NFC sleeves for both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. According to M.I.C. Gadget, NFC sleeves are already being made by some companies in Taiwan. The sleeves can be used much like an iPhone case which simply slips on with the NFC chip embedded inside.
While contactless payments aren’t widespread yet, they’re slowly being offered to consumers. Banks have continually made contactless payments available to their customers. For Tormos, and so many others, NFC is part of the future.
However, NFC’s security continues to be a problem. Not only that, but consumers are still unsure of how the technology actually works. For example, Commonwealth Bank hasn’t enabled NFC for the Kaching Andriod app because the Android phones needed added security.
The trial with MasterCard and Westpac is particularly important for NFC implementation. Westpac is including a secure element on the SIM cards for their Samsung phones. Yet, even with this solution, there are more problems. With this solution, banks would have to go through telco providers, therefore costing them more money in the long run.
According to Tormos, microSD cards could be even closer to the solution that people are looking for. However, microSDs might not have the space for all secure elements, and they cannot be used for iPhones. Using an NFC enabled iPhone sleeve will have to be the answer for now, at least until more people are implementing the technology.