A few years ago, the vision of mobile payment systems hinged on near-field communications (NFC) technology, which promised secure storage of credit card data on a chip. It was hoped that electronics companies would be eager to incorporate such chips into mobile devices, but most weren’t interested.
In addition to NFC technology that is slowly finding its way into mainstream use, today’s mobile payment platforms rely on several new technologies, each of which poses interesting prospects for the future of retail shopping.
Most new versions of the electronic wallet, or eWallet, involve some type of mobile application on a mobile device — most likely a smartphone, since it seems almost everyone today has one. Each eWallet uses a different system by which it secures card and payment information, which can be accessed via an app on a smartphone.
Google Wallet and Isis still rely on NFC, which is available on only certain smartphones, and are supported in only a few establishments through a machine that reads your card information on the imbedded chip. These two forms of mobile payment are currently in use in a very small number of stores in the U.S.
Although the technology may be in its infancy and many stores have yet to adopt it into mainstream use, mobile payment technology will surely become the future of shopping. Here are a few companies that currently provide the technology and should be ahead of the game once mobile payment technology really takes off in the retail market.
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