Add premium car manufacturer BMW and electronics company LG Electronics to the list of companies who will be offering a contactless payment system using near-field communications technology.
NFC technology is quickly spreading in the retail landscape -- even fast food chains are adopting it. Rumors have spread that the next versions of the iPhone and iPad will have NFC contactless payment technology.
NFC chips use short range high frequency wireless communication and enables the exchange of data between devices up to about four inches apart. Typically an NFC chip is embedded in a phone (such as the iPhone) where it's used for payments.
However, BMW is looking to embed an NFC chip in car keys. In this sense, BMW car keys could also be a wallet of sorts as it could make payments with a simple swipe. For instance, parking in a lot could be paid for by swiping keys across a ticket terminal. On top of this, the sensor in the keys could be used to open car doors or gates.
LG has also announced it's getting in the game. The company said it will embed NFC chips in its smartphones, starting in European markets in 2012. It will also embed the chips in other electronics it manufacturers including TVs and security systems.
The point-of-sale technology, which will be targeted at small and medium-sized businesses and will involve NFC or near field communications and cloud computing, is currently in beta testing, Jin-Yong Kim, vice president for business solutions at LG's Home Entertainment division, said to Reuters.
LG did not respond to requests for comment.
The growth of NFC chips in mobile phones alone will reach 860 million units according to research from Frost & Sullivan. The analysts say it will be easily the most-used solution for mobile payment and total transaction value will be €111.19 billion ($153 billion).
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