Mobile phones are set to be transformed into smart cards with the growing acceptance that near-field communications will be the next big thing in smartphone technology.
Public transport operations, advertisements and checkout tills are all likely to adopt the technology, which allows smartphone owners to simply tap their device against built in readers to act as a ticket, view online content or pay a bill.
Google’s Nexus S is the first phone in the west to adopt the system, it is already popular in Japan, but its popularity is set to explode with Apple and Research in Motion amongst the big name manufacturers said to have taken an interest in the system.
Charles Walton, chief operating officer of Inside Secure (who manufacture the chips), said: “I think it will be a very transformational year for the payments market as devices that support this kind of functionality start coming to bear… it’s the next big thing.”
A coalition of global technology companies is keen to establish set standards in the transit fare market; following the introduction of security standards in both credit cards and passports.