With announcements by Google, Amazon, Mastercard, Sprint, and the 2012 Olympics Committee in the last few days, everyone is talking about near field communication (NFC) payments. As we transition to these contactless phone payments, the burden of security will shift from card-issuing banks to a new set of players: software developers, retailers, and consumers.
Everyone’s been talking about the companies involved in these new payments, who is investing in the technology, and how it will be used. People aren’t talking about the security implications, and which of the four involved parties (developers, banks, retailers, or consumers) should be responsible for our data security. As we saw last week in the Epsilon breach, our information is out there, and it’s not nearly as secure as we would like to think.
Who should burden this responsibility? Are software developers the gate-keepers of our information, or should financial institutions continue to be responsible for security as they have been with credit and debit cards? The issues are complex, but the time to discuss these issues is now. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have announced plans for NFC by the beginning of next year. Sprint one-upped them by announcing they will have NFC contactless payments in place by the end of the year, beating other providers to the punch.
What’s your take on NFC? How do you think the technology will fare, and how will it affect QR codes?