Feeds

Barclaycard and Orange plot NFC Christmas

But not saying how, or when

High performance access to file storage

Barclaycard has let slip plans to deploy NFC-enabled mobile phones, along with Orange, before the end of 2010.

The details were spotted by NFC World, which reported on a presentation given by Barclaycard's Head of Innovation Marketing, Sarah Mansfield, during which she stated that by the end of 2010 Orange customers will be able to buy an NFC-enabled handset, and use an augmented-reality application to locate stores that accept NFC payments.

NFC, or Near Field Communications, is used for payment systems that rely on the user waving the card near to a reader. Transactions below fifteen quid are approved without a PIN (though a PIN is occasionally requested at random), and the system is already embedded in millions of plastic cards from Barclaycard.

Putting the same functionality into a mobile phone should add features, such as transaction checking and pre-paid topping up, but the lack of an obvious revenue stream and customer indifference have prevented that happening.

According to the presentation the new service will come with an augmented-reality application showing the nearest retail outlet offering NFC, or the nearest cashpoint for those who insist on scratch-window cash. That app will run on an iPhone, or handsets using Google's Android platform, which is interesting given that neither of those platforms support NFC - at least not yet.

An Android handset with NFC isn't particularly difficult to imagine: Orange could just ask someone to make such a thing, but getting the technology onto an iPhone is more difficult. There have been rumours that Cupertino is looking in that direction, but it seems unlikely that Barclaycard would let slip any inside information it has on the matter.

Orange and Barclaycard did launch a co-branded credit card in January, so perhaps Android and iPhone users will be able to use the augmented reality app to find places that will accept their plastic cards, while those equipped with NFC-enabled handsets must rely on the traditional window stickers.

NFC is beset by chicken-and-egg problems with operators not requesting handsets and manufacturers (except Nokia) not interested in making them. If Orange did push the technology into one of its signature handsets then it could differentiate the product significantly, which could go well if all that pent-up demand for proximity payments on a mobile phone really exists. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.