If you already get the shivers when you hear acronyms like ERP, COE and MRT, don’t worry. NFC isn’t all that scary. But wait, what the heck is it anyway? If you haven’t taken your headphones off in the last 3 years, NFC, or Near Field Communication, has hit Singapore.
This technology enables smartphones to communicate with other mobile devices by tapping them the way you would an EZ-Link card.
This means the next time you upgrade your phone, you will even be able to use it to pay for your purchases, which is perhaps the kind of thing you imagined would happen in the future when you were in primary school and it was still in the realm of “science fiction” then.
Well, it’s a reality now. And who uses phones to make phone calls anyway?
So this is the future, and here are 3 ways NFC might change your life forever:
1. Buy Stuff Using Your Phone
The moment NFC gains real traction, you can be sure that all the banks will be scrambling to implement contactless payment systems, or else once everyone starts ditching their wallets nobody will be using their cards. This means you will just need to tap your smartphone to pay instead of rummaging through your credit card collection.
At the moment, things haven’t quite exploded—but they will. DBS and OCBC have already created their own mobile wallet and payment apps. Even SingTel is getting in on the action, with their Dash app that doesn’t just act as a mobile wallet but even allows you to pay with their mCash function at places like 7-Eleven and for services like Comfort Taxis.
Stay tuned with us on Facebook as we cover the mobile payments scene in greater detail soon!
2. Personalised Shopping
It seems like every company these days knows things about you even you didn’t. Facebook knows what websites you’ve been looking at, and when your parents forget when your birthday is they probably search on Google.
Making payments using NFC means that the big corporations will know where you’ve been and what you’ve been spending on. While that’s a little creepy, it also means other shops in the vicinity can offer you coupons and discounts when you’re nearby. Or they could just bombard you with ads….
Okay but paranoia aside, this could really give way to a whole new era of retail experiences. Of course, some may argue that it takes the fun out of window shopping, but for those are a little lazier and want to be more efficient in their shopping (or don’t really know what they want), this is certainly a godsend.
3. No More EZlink Cards
The LTA has been assessing the possibility of enabling payment on public transport by NFC. If that really happens, gone will be those enraging moments when you’re rushing to get to work, only to hear that nasty little bleep that tells you your EZ-Link card needs to be topped up.
Or worse still, boarding the bus only to realise your card is in your other pair of pants.
Currently, the LTA has a mobile app called My EZ-Link Mobile that allows NFC-enabled phones to top up their EZ-Link card, but the next step looks set to be to just use mobile devices, since we Singaporeans clearly cling to our phones a lot more tightly than we do our EZ-Link cards!
Do you think NFC technology will take off in Singapore? Tell us here!