Near-field communication has been very strong in the area of mobile payments. This is the reason why most financial institutions and banks have included NFC functionality into their wireless payment services.
Commonwealth Bank has upgraded their mobile banking app for both Windows 8 and Android devices. The new mobile app can now make NFC payments via Commonwealth Bank’s Tap & Pay system.
The mobile app can be used with any merchant that uses MasterCard PayPass.
The good news is that you do not have to rely on having an NFC chip embedded in your phone to use these apps. The bank has released payment tags that you can stick at the back of your phone so that you could turn your ordinary smartphone into an NFC-enabled phone. In fact, the bank is making this available for the iPhone in January 2014. The iPhone is notoriously snubbing NFC.
But more than just making sure that people, even those who do not have NFC-enabled smartphones, will be able to use the service, there are other features too. For example, the Commonwealth Bank mobile app allows users to choose which account to pay from, as well as being able turn the NFC on and off when they wish.
The new app seems to be in response to their competitors moves into NFC payments. Westpac is currently working with Visa to give their customers a new NFC payments service starting in 2014. Westpac has said that only NFC-enabled Android smartphones would be able to use the service.
NFCMe.com has also stumbled upon another use for NFC: making it easier for people to remember if they have already taken their medications or not.
The company, Gema Touch, has developed an NFC system that allows you to use your smartphone to keep track of your many medications. Their kit has NFC stickers that you could put on your medicine bottles. When you take your medications, all you have to do is to tap your smartphone to the bottle.
Not only will this record which medications you have taken, these records will also be sent to your doctors.