Microsoft is mulling the introduction of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology on its Windows Phone 7 operating system towards the end of the year, according to reports.
NFC technology, a one-swipe mobile payment solution, will enable users to make payments by merely waving the phone near devices which can read the information embedded in the phone.
Google Android had blazed the NFC trail in the Smartphone arena, when NFC capability was added to Android handsets running on Gingerbread in December, according to PC World. Samsung's Nexus S was the first Android phone with NFC technology, it said, adding that many more NFC-enabled Android handsets are in the pipeline.
There have also been unconfirmed reports that the next edition of iPhone will come with NFC, which is considered to be the next wave which could revolutionize mobile and contactless payment technology.
HOW NFC WORKS
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An NFC-enabled phone has a payment application (credit or debit card) issued by the consumer's financial institution installed on the phone. The application and encrypted information are loaded on a secure area in the phone. The phone uses the built-in NFC technology to communicate with the merchant's contactless payment-capable POS system, similar to the contactless payment cards and devices in use today. The payment and settlement processes are the same processes used when the consumer pays with a traditional contactless or magnetic stripe credit or debit payment card.