Are credit cards becoming obsolete?

Technically Speaking

Are you already a PayPal user? PayPal has become an increasingly popular way of paying online. Now with a NFC capable smartphone and the PayPal app, you can pay for your purchases with your PayPal account at the same stores that have NFC compatible checkouts.

Not to be outdone by upstarts like Google and PayPal, the old stalwart companies Visa and MasterCard have thrown their hat in the NFC ring. They are both working on their own apps to allow people to use smartphones to pay for things using their Visa or MasterCard.

So with all these advances, what’s standing in the way of total adoption of NFC payments? Right now, the one major player not on board is Apple. Apple’s new iPhone 5 has a wallet feature included, but it doesn’t currently support NFC because the iPhone 5 doesn’t have the NFC chip. How they plan on using the wallet features is still being worked out, but for now, the iPhone 5 will not be using NFC.

What do you think?

If your smartphone is capable of using these wallet features, would you consider using it? We know that many people might not be comfortable at first using their smartphone instead of their credit cards, but as this new technology becomes more widely adopted, it could become a way to eliminate one more thing that you have to carry with you.

As we always say, if you want to learn more about Near Field Communication or any other new type of technology, stop by the Dewitt Community Library and we will be glad to help you out.

Paul Morrell is assistant director for computing and technology services at DeWitt Community Library and Scott Mosher is paralibrarian for technology.

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