Near Field Communication, or NFC, is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices with a touch. This touch capability allows for sharing, pairing, and transaction capability between the NFC devices. A smartphone or tablet that is NFC capable can be used as a keycard or an ID card. The same device can also be used to make credit card payments.
This technology is being embraced by some major companies in the e-commerce industry for its ability to process credit card transactions. PayPal purchased Zong for just that reason. Visa invested heavily in mobile payments startup Squares. Google is making its Google Wallet and Google+ beta work toward that same vision of mobile payments made through NFC-based touch technology. And, as recently reported by Mashable, American Express’s Serve platform actually does support Visa, Mastercard, Discover, debit cards and other types of accounts.
Professional community service G+ created a graphic that looks deeper into mobile payment trends and tracks what experts believe will happen to mobile commerce in the next four years based on what NFC technology does to the industry. G+ also compared some of the current players in the mobile payment space.