Wednesday, March 07, 2007

IC Card World

This years IC Card World in Japan is showing off a few NFC applications. The first example is using the secure chip within a mobile phone as an ATM card. As several applications can be stored on a single chip (this also goes for the smartcard in your wallet, you could just have one rather than one from each bank), you can have several of your accounts available from the phone, and the mobile phones screen reflects if it is Visa, Mastercard and so on. Not something a smartcard can do yet and those folk do like to have their brand visible (hence your wallet full of smartcards).

OK we start with a standard ATM machine, I just wish Secure, Speedy and Useful were the various cash options...

and an ATM application running on the phone, of course given that a mobile phone has an internet connection there is no reason the phone itself can not act as a terminal, you'll be seeing people at car boot sales accepting Visa and Mastercard sometime soon.

Laying the phone on the machine allows it to read your smartcard, the PIN could be entered into the phone or the machine and of course you could not bother having one at all, though this opens up the problem of having your phone stolen. Various solutions to this have been touted and I get the feeling that there will not be a single system adopted by everyone.

and hey presto, looks like he pressed the Useful cash button, and one would hope the damn receipt is sent to the phone rather than printed out. This could be done via bluetooth rather than having to leave your phone on the machine though the network service providers will be wanting this sent via GPRS or SMS to utilise chargeable network bandwidth.

Moving right along we have an application that takes advantage of a small amount of available purchase options. In the same vain as a vending machine, meals, snacks, drinks or whatever can be selected and then paid for by touching the phone to the screen.

I'm not sure about this application. To me it just smacks of a point of sale with NFC added. Still it shows one of the most common applications in action and the possibility of having virtual tickets which can be redeemed later.

This next one is a system for Taxi drivers. As I mentioned before there is no real need for such bulky equipment, the driver just needs a mobile phone to act as the point of sale and drop the damn printer from the whole system. Nice to see a fully integrated system though, the Taxi is going to look like a supermarket checkout, "you want fries with that?". Guess the manufacturers of this system have a vested interest in using their tooled up factories to push black boxes.

This one made me laugh. Ok, it's not that funny, it's just a petrol pump with a NFC added to take payments, it's the symbol they are using, man is that one bendy mobile phone, looks indecent to me but hey, thats the way my mind works.

and lastly a token picture of someone contactless paying for petrol, which makes me think about about this whole touch and contactless thing, can't have it both ways.

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