Are you a Windows Phone user who’s been sitting back and watching from a distance all the chaos going on with NFC-based mobile payments on smartphones? Those Android users had been talking about how great NFC payments were for years, and now Apple went and swooped in to bring things mainstream. And of course, as soon as it did, some players with a payment system of their own decided to push back, killing-off NFC payments at their stores in the process. As a Windows Phone fan, you used to be able to take a hands-off approach to the whole thing, declaring, “you other platforms work out NFC payments on your own; wake me when it becomes a Windows Phone issue.” Well consider this your wake-up call, as Windows Phone has just joined the NFC payment bandwagon, with Softcard (the re-branded Isis) releasing its contactless payment app for Windows Phone.
You’ll need a WP handset that supports NFC as well as a compatible SIM from your provider; networks like AT&T are already advertising Softcard support (and this release today may be an AT&T-exclusive; that’s not yet clear). Then you install and activate the app, link it to a supported payment card, and you’re ready to start making contactless NFC payments at POS terminals.
Will NFC payments change your life? Of course not. And for the moment, it’s tough to point out specific benefits over existing payment methods. But dammit, Windows Phone users have spent enough time living behind the curve of iOS and Android, and sometimes it’s just nice to have the same toys as the other kids on the block.