Microsoft planning NFC mobile payments for Windows Phone 8

By on March 30, 2011, 8:00 AM
Microsoft plans to include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in Windows Phone 8. NFC support will allow for mobile payment features in the next version of the Windows Phone operating system, according to two people familiar with the plans cited by BusinessWeek.

The first Windows handsets that would allow users to pay for items in stores by bumping their device against a compatible cash register may be released as soon as this year. In addition to payments, NFC also lets consumers use their phones to redeem coupons and loyalty points at local merchants.

Microsoft holds 14 patents referencing NFC according to the US Patent Office. Still, the software giant will likely get a lot of backing in its mobile payments effort from Nokia, the biggest handset maker that recently said it would switch to using Windows Phone as the primary OS for its smartphones. Nokia already said it plans to make NFC a standard feature of Symbian smartphones this year.

Google added NFC to the release of Android 2.3 and the Nexus S (codenamed Gingerbread) in December 2010. Despite this early start, Google is still working out the mobile payment system for Android; it reportedly only recently teamed up with MasterCard and Citigroup.

If Microsoft wants to keep up with Google, it will need to partner with similar companies in time for the release of Windows Phone 8. NFC is one of those technologies that won't get adopted en masse unless users look around and notice that they could be using it. For this to happen, support has to arrive in stores first.

User Comments: 3

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

You're assuming WP8 is anywhere close to completion. It took this company 6 months to ship a minor update. I seriously doubt WP8 will be ready before holiday 2012. It's going to be interesting to see whether WP7 phones will be allowed to upgrade at all (Windows Mobile never did).

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Timeframe about WP8 aside, I think the Guest raised very good point; I think 'up-grade' cycle / path will be an important factor in determining where WP eventually end up in few years time.

Guest said:

No one can stay behind. Many NFC Phones launched/announced in the last days. Samsung Wave M + Wave Y, Fujitsy with 3 NFC Phones, BlackBerry 9350/60/70, Nokia comes with three new phones 600/700/701. No embedded secure element or SWP in the Nokias for secure payments. But... in the press release many words about NFC technology. Nokia is absolutely right pointing to the NFC sharing and pairing capabilitys. NFC is much more than mobile payments. NFC-Phones pointorg ,For all the available NFC-Phones list by country and by carrier, the most up to date and user friendly list. Thank you.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.