Forbes writes how we could be buying things with the “wave of a phone”:
A group at Philips Electronics focused on developing a technology called near field communications (NFC) that is based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and could within a year start turning common mobile phones into the spendthrift’s best friend.
Consider the following scenario: Walking down a street, you spot a poster advertising that you can buy your favorite artist’s new single right then and there. All you have to do is hold your mobile phone up close to the poster, and the song downloads directly to the phone–which also happens to be a digital music player, for easy playback.
Or perhaps you’d rather listen at home. Just hold the phone close to the stereo system, and the right to listen to that song will transfer to the stereo’s hard drive, or becomes available on a favorite music subscription service. You can even share the right to listen to it with a few friends by holding your phone close to theirs.
And why not use the phone to buy concert tickets too? Not only will the phone handle payment but it will also become the ticket. Wave it in front of the turnstile at the concert venue, and the phone gets you in the door, where it can also be used to buy a T-shirt.
It is potentially the next force that will push forward the concept of “contactless payments.” Why bother with swiping a credit card with a magnetic stripe through a reader when a smart card inside a phone can do the transaction just as well, and with less hassle and less chance of the magnetic stripe wearing thin?