While we just looked at some new ideas for using NFC to share data between smartphones, work continues on getting some sort of mobile payment system in place. Visa just revealed its plans for a phone-based digital wallet, including aspects of NFC-based payments, with plans to launch it in the US and Canada this fall.
We’ve talked about the difficulty in getting consumers to start buying things with their phones over NFC instead of the tried-and-true credit card. People get set in their ways, and there needs to be a compelling reason to change habits. Visa’s strategy seems to be to first attract people to its digital wallet by offering ways to improve smartphone purchases made online, through the phone’s browser. If it can get you making payments with its app, through merchant sites employing links that would let you complete purchases with a single click, then maybe you’ll keep using the app when you see a brick-and-mortar store accepting NFC payments.
The digital wallet software wouldn’t be limited to Visa cards, letting you link it to other credit and debit cards. It looks like the NFC component of the system is still being worked out, with a separate NFC program with Visa ties launching ahead of the digital wallet this summer.
What do you think it would take to get people interested in NFC payments? More phones supporting the technology? Some sort of benefit offered beyond the consumer protection plans built-in to many credit cards?