Etisalat and Wirecard announced on Tuesday that they will showcase various mobile payment solutions at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) 2013 in Barcelona.
Wirecard AG has developed a solution that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) for contactless payment processing using MasterCard (News - Alert) PayPass technology. The Munich, Germany-based company develops electronic payment solutions globally for 13,000 companies.
NFC has taken off in many places around the world, but has been slow to be adopted in the U.S. The latest Apple (News - Alert) smartphone, the iPhone5, does not support NFC.
According to NearFieldCommunication.org, NFC technology has benefits that speed up checkout times at registers and add convenience for customers.
Making payment by NFC is simple and fast, consisting of nothing more than passing an NFC-compatible card or phone close enough to a reader. NFC tags can be put in product displays, allowing customers to get more information about the item.
Customers will be able to electronically load a coupon into a phone and apply that discount at the register.
Abu Dhabi, UAE-based Etisalat (News - Alert), the largest telecommunications operator in the Middle East, will display a mobile card reader that plugs into a smartphone.
Etisalat will provide NFC-compatible phones with many of the features NearFieldCommunication.org supports, including digital couponing and customer loyalty programs. New phones will come with an NFC-compatible SIM card, while others must go to stores to get their cards updated.
Etisalat and Wirecard have emerged as leaders in the push to make NFC and digital wallets more commonplace. It's hard to argue against the benefits of the technology, which may eventually lead to a cashless society. The ease of use and the ability to shorten waiting times at registers make it seem inevitable that NFC will become an everyday solution in the U.S.
They could be very useful in buying airline tickets at the airports, where long lines are typical.
Edited by Braden Becker