With rumours that the London 2012 Olympics may be the UK's first serious attempt at promoting NFC payments, with suggestions, even, that Samsung's upcoming GALAXY S III smartphone may be the official phone of the Olympics with NFC support, it feels as though contactless payment is at last heading to the UK.
Perhaps picking up on this vibe, Barclaycard has announced the launch of a new, mini, stick-on credit card, for users to attach to the backs of their phones (or technically anything with a flat surface), which will begin immediate roll-out and should be in the hands of millions of customers before the end of the year.
The 'PayTag' card integrates an NFC chip, allowing for the close-range exchange of payment details for contactless payment at certain stores equipped with compatible devices. The card allows consumers to make transactions of up to £15 without the need for pin entry, though use in rapid succession or at unexpected locations could prompt a pin entry for security reasons.
There are concerns that with a credit card stuck to the back of a person's phone, it could become a likely target for theft, which, let's be honest, may be true, however it's clear that Barclaycard is pushing this concept to promote the inclusion of NFC on more mobile devices, rally support for the new standard and to familiarise customers with the new concept.
Once NFC does hit phones in general, everyone will end up in the same boat, though with increased security options. As an added advantage, new phone owners will be able to take advantage of other current and upcoming NFC features, such as secure device-to-device communication, quick information exchange and tethering of devices.