September 30, 2011
Smartphones and Near Field Communications. Google recently released its Wallet application for mobile payments. Google, Ebay, mobile phone makers and credit card companies are all scrambling to be the ones you use when waving your phone over a register to buy things. Exchanging payment information from your phone to a reader requires NFC enabled smartphones. Near Field Communications is a subset of RFID (radio) with a 20 centimeter range. The short range of the standard, combined with the encryption and authentication capability of modern smartphones suggest that transactions ought to be secure but privacy and security will be major concerns for mobile payment systems. Currently, 67% of users don't even password protect their phones.