PayPal bringing NFC to Australia in months

Summary:Online payments giant PayPal has today revealed that it plans to roll out person-to-person payments with embedded near-field communication (NFC) technology for the Australian market in the next two months.

Online payments giant PayPal has today revealed that it plans to roll out person-to-person payments with embedded near-field communication (NFC) technology for the Australian market in the next two months.

NFC facilitates the transmission of data over a range of approximately 10cm. An NFC-enabled chip in a mobile phone can interact with a proximity card reader to make mobile payments.

After demonstrating the person-to-person NFC tech in San Francisco overnight, spokesperson for PayPal Australia Adrian Christie confirmed that the company would offer the service to Australian users "in one or two months".

The payment system works by "bumping" two NFC-enabled handsets together, with the payer asked to input a PIN to confirm the instant transaction request.

PayPal plans to update its existing person-to-person payment app to facilitate the new hardware and the changes will take advantage of embedded NFC technology as opposed to proprietary case or sticker technology, according to Christie. This means that the only device to get the PayPal NFC capabilities will be Samsung Nexus S users on the Google Android operating system.

Laura Chambers, PayPal's director of mobile who demonstrated the technology in San Francisco, told ZDNet Australia in March that for NFC to really get off the ground in the Australian market, Apple needs to build the capability into the next iteration of the iPhone.

"You need that first trigger for [retailers and merchants] to follow," she said, adding that only a "handful" of people in Australia had the Samsung Nexus S.

PayPal's move to enable NFC for its customers comes as a source within the Commonwealth Bank this week said that it would offer a proprietary case-based technology for the mass market some time in the next quarter.

(Front page image credit: Numbers image by Declan Jewell, CC2.0)

Topics: Apple, E-Commerce, iPhone, Mobility

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A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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