Well, isn’t this a surprise? It looks like one of the main backers of Isis, the carrier owned mobile payment service, is finally allowing Google Wallet on its NFC phones. The truth is this shouldn’t have been a surprise in the first place. Google Wallet should’ve been allowed from the beginning, otherwise this is a dangerous precedent for carriers if they get to “vet” what kind of applications are allowed on the market. It’s especially more dangerous if those apps are supposed to compete with one of their own services.
I think NFC is a revolutionary technology, and if the whole mobile ecosystem (OS makers, manufacturers, carriers), financial companies, and retail stores all decide to use it, it will really change things for the better. The first 2 sectors seem to want to embrace it, but retail stores will be harder to convince to get on board because it costs them quite a bit to set-up the infrastructure for mobile payments. But it’s certainly not an impossible task, and as all carriers and financial companies start adopting it, it will also become a nobrainer for retail stores to do it as well.
Some still believe NFC is a gimmick, because they look only at what you can do today with it regarding payments. Even if NFC payment would be a gimmick, which I think it isn’t, NFC could still be used for a lot of other things, too, once it’s everywhere. It could be used to open hotel doors, car doors, or any other kind of doors. This is just an example, but there will be plenty of innovative ways to expand its use once every phone has it.
I also believe it could finally help Bitcoin become a real currency by having a real economy behind it made from commerce with real world products. It’s very hard to pay in the real world with Bitcoin, but once all phones have it, it’s just a matter of the retailers or other businesses accepting Bitcoin, and that would just follow its natural course. There are already Bitcoin Wallet applications that work with NFC, so this should be just a matter of time before it becomes reality.
The bottom line is there are many ways in which NFC-enabled phones can be used once they are everywhere and the infrastructure for interacting with NFC-phones is there, too.