July 20, 2011

Wallet Added to Endangered Species List -- Yikes!


PayPal Announces Phone-To-Phone NFC Widget for Android Phones

At the MobileBeat conference, PayPal announced its NFC software widget for Android phones, which would let consumers make payments to one another by tapping two NFC-equipped phones together.

Here's how PayPal's mobile payment method works: both users have to tap their widget, and the payee requests a certain amount of money. Both users then tap their phones together to request the transaction. That then launches the widget on the payer's phone, requiring the payer to enter a PIN. This will then allow the amount of money to be transferred. The phone then connects to the server, which facilitates the transfer and sends an email to the payee confirming the successful transaction.

This exciting announcement is the first in what will clearly be a trend of adding 'wallet' to the growing list of functions provided on cell phones (camera, entertainment and- of course, talking). Near Field Communication capabilities along with more and more commerce APIs enabling payments as we know them to move off of cash registers and website 'buy buttons' means drastic improvements in store for everything from long check out lines (imagine 'checking out' by just scanning a product tag) to pre-pay systems to splitting checks amongst friends at restaurants.

The NFC widget, which uses and depends on APIs, is currently only available on the Nexus S, offered from both Sprint and T-Mobile providers. Here's looking forward to even broader adoption by other handset manufacturers and platforms before this PayPal widget is available later this summer!