Hold the phone: retailers eye payments via smartphone

An emerging technology called Near Field Communication will soon give new meaning to the phrase “tapped out.”

Once NFC systems become widespread, which could happen as soon as next year, consumers will be able to pay for purchases at the checkout counter by simply tapping their cell phones, rather than digging out a credit or debit card and swiping it. So, what’s the big difference?

The idea behind contactless payments is not necessarily to make things faster or more convenient for the consumer, it’s actually a way for retailers to be able to deliver advertising messages, coupons, promotions and loyalty programs directly to your cell phone.

If that prospect appeals to you, stay tuned.

Read full article at Network World.