Mobile NFC payments are the future, that much we know. It would be incredibly convenient for consumers and businesses alike if NFC payment systems were widely adopted. It essentially allows businesses to charge consumers for products and services wirelessly, or over the air. Many NFC implementations require consumers to tap two NFC capable devices in order to process a transaction or data transfer.
Samsung is extremely supportive of NFC technology, especially considering all of their new devices include the appropriate hardware and functionality. Earlier this morning, Samsung and Visa announced a key partnership in regards to Samsung's mobile payments and NFC capable devices.
The agreement calls for all of Samsung's NFC-enabled devices to work solely with Visa's payWave application and Mobile Provisioning Service. This will allow banks and businesses to transfer account information and payment data securely over-the-air to Samsung devices.
The real issue here is how this will affect consumers that don't use Visa's services. For example, if Samsung has an exclusive partnership with Visa, does this mean other services will suffer in regards to support on their devices? Hopefully Samsung will be smart enough to realize that there are tons of other payment services out there. Visa should be the recommended service provider on Samsung devices, but not the only one.
This announcement is likely a direct response to the recent MasterPass service unveil by Mastercard. They announced the MasterPass payment system at MWC 2013, which will serve as a digital wallet for credit card owners. The beauty of the system is that it will support a multitude of credit card providers and not just Mastercard branded cards.
All in all, both of these announcements indicate that NFC payment services are going to be more influential over the coming year. NFC is undoubtedly an extremely cool technology, and it's hard to fathom a thoroughly developed retail environment that makes full use of it. Imagine purchasing what you want from a store simply by tapping your phone on a single NFC-enabled checkout station, or by walking through an NFC-enabled checkout kiosk.
Furthermore, we can expect to see Visa's services implemented in the upcoming Galaxy SIV, whenever it arrives.