If you've been betting on NFC to be the catalyst for the mobile payments explosion, think again. Last week, columnist Mike Elgan unveiled Apple's secret plan to revolutionize the way we pay by eliminating the cash register. And while many industry leaders, including Google Wallet, have been focused on NFC, Appple has been quietly building technology into iPhones and iPads that will eliminate the need for NFC and for cash registers.
Apple's approach, according to Pablo Saez Gil, with ResearchFarm is to forgo NFC in favor of Blouetooth 4.0, which has been quietly included in every computer, tablet and phone Apple shipped shince the middle of 2011. Combine this with over 200 million iTunes account holders and voila, you have something mobile payment schemers have been seeking for the last four years, instant adoption.
Imagine never having to wait in a long line at the register or keep track of those pesky paper receipts. Sounds like an Apple product to me... it just works...easy, seamless, and elegant.
However, this type of iStore cashierless buying experience is likley better suited for small shops, restaurants or boutique retailers. Using your iPhone to scan an entire basket of goceries just doen't seem like a good shopping experience.
In addition, consumers and shop-owners alike will have to get familiar with an entirely new shopping experience, one that doesn't involve waiting in lines at a cash register or handing a waiter a credit card.