Bank of America NFC trial
Bank of America will roll out a mobile NFC payment trial enabling customers to use their smartphones to fund retail purchases. The trial will run from September until the end of the year along with Visa. The NFC function is expected to involve interim NFC solutions such as SD cards or cases, rather than embedded NFC phones. Following on from the news of the trial by AT&T and Verizon Wireless with T-Mobile planned for 2011, this means that we're starting to see positive signs for NFC in the US. Plus: we're talking about major players here. With names like Bank of America and Visa ...well no intro needed. With household names like all these, surely this will increase the whole profile of NFC in the public eye although of course there's a large difference between trials and achieving national rollouts! Talking of national rollouts, one phone vendor once said that there wouldn't be any "NFC" phones in future, because they would all have NFC as standard similarly to bluetooth and cameras. It will up to the subscriber if they decide to use it or not. Smartphones are still in the minority in most countries. My view is that for mobile payments to really scale, and for retailers and merchants to really capture the potential, you actually need all new devices to have NFC, not just smartphones. Having said that, with the price of smartphones dropping, how long before every phone is a smartphone anyway?!