Our first Google Wallet customer
Not a bad take on a classic Seinfeld scene! So, it’s pretty clear that George’s wallet is super full. I’d guess that he has a number of things crammed in there:
- Credit cards
- IDs (driver’s license, health/insurance card, etc.)
- Loyalty / Membership cards (i.e. Starbucks card, Library card, transit, etc.)
- Business cards
- Notes (including notes with phone numbers, contact info, etc.)
At the end, the ad states, “Goodbye, wallet. The phone will take it from here.” Well, the phone can replace all of the above — yes, all! And near-field communication (NFC) is one of the key enabling technologies that help accomplish this.
That’s a lot of applications, right? Why would you want to put this in the phone?
Ask yourself, where is your phone right now? When did you last look at your phone? (Maybe you are even reading this on your phone right now.) I’ll bet you looked at your phone in the last couple of minutes and know exactly where it is. Now, ask yourself, where is your wallet? When did you last look at your wallet?
Most of us check our phones constantly. We always want to know if we’ve been emailed, texted, called, “poked” on Facebook, and so on. How often are we using our wallets? Maybe a few times a day? Mobile phones have an intimate connection with us. Naturally, with it being out communication hub, we have a close connection with our mobile devices — and maybe less so with our wallets.
Now think about “consumerization.” Consumers are driving the mobile market, causing many vendors to cater to their needs (versus business). So, it is no surprise that many of the initial NFC pilots are consumer-facing. Clearly, if vendors building NFC technology want it to take off, they know they need to focus on the consumer. And with the majority of the handset vendors announcing plans, it’s clear that NFC will be common place.
The first few applications of NFC will directly target the consumer. Namely, payments, public transportation, ticketing (for events/parking) and advertising/product information. It’s all about the consumer first.
In my next post, I’ll focus in on these applications one-by-one, define them and take a guess at the impact they’ll make.