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Photos: Accenture waves goodbye to the wallet

NFC tech the future of payments
By Nick Heath, Contributor on
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1 of 4 Nick Heath/ZDNET

NFC tech the future of payments

The SMS is on the wall for crumpled notes and battered leather wallets as Accenture Technology Labs shows off the future of contactless payments using mobile phones.

The custom built contactless payment terminal shown here demonstrates how NFC (near field communication) and RFID technology could soon allow phones to pay for goods and services, act as travel or gig tickets and transfer money between bank accounts.

Photo credit: Nick Heath

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2 of 4 Nick Heath/ZDNET

The technology works by putting an NFC reader and transmitter into a phone that can be linked to a bank, loyalty card system or travel account such as Oyster cards. The phone can then be swiped in front of an NFC reader or another NFC equipped phone, as shown above, to transfer money or credit.

The phones can also be used to check receipts, balances and transfers, as well to authorise remote transactions, and is compatible with existing banking systems.

Photo credit: Nick Heath

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3 of 4 Nick Heath/ZDNET

Accenture predicts more handsets to follow in the footsteps of the Nokia 6131 NFC, seen here transferring money from a bank account, which is the first phone to be fitted with the technology.

And pilots of non-phone NFC payment systems have already been launched in Europe, such as Barclaycard's OnePulse scheme, which uses a single card for Barclaycard and Oyster card payments. Mastercard has trialled and implemented its PayPass system in 20 countries, allowing users with an NFC-equipped mobile phone to make payments by tapping their phone on a reader.

Accenture predicts such technology will become widely commercially available by the end of next year.

Photo credit: Nick Heath

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4 of 4 Nick Heath/ZDNET

NFC readers in phones also allow them to download data and web links for more information on posters and products by allowing the phone to read embedded RFID chips. Here Accenture is showing off a widget system for mobile phones that could provide access to corporate information such as ERP data.

Photo credit: Nick Heath

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