The idea of a mobile payment system using Near Field Communication (NFC) has been a topic of conversation for some time now. Companies like Google have taken some of the first steps to implement this technology in the real world but it hasn’t exactly caught on like wildfire.
Samsung is well aware of this and believe they know why it hasn’t been successful thus far. Simply put, it’s difficult for the public to associate a brand new technology with something very personal – money. As such, the company is planning to ease users into the idea of NFC with fun or simple tasks instead of asking them to dive right in with sensitive information on the line.
Samsung has introduced a programmable sticker called TecTiles that is designed to accomplish basic tasks simply by tapping your phone to a sticker. For example, you could place a programmed sticker in your car that would toggle your Bluetooth radio on or off while another could be installed on your nightstand that would set your phone to silent mode when you go to sleep.
The Korean electronics giant says that stickers could eventually turn up in public places like restaurants. Here, they would be added to a menu that would allow customers to check into Foursquare or access their public Wi-Fi network.
The stickers are roughly the size of a postage stamp with an embedded NFC chip inside. A pack of five TecTiles can be purchased for $15 in-store at all four of the major wireless providers in the US or online at Samsung’s website.
Note that while Samsung says that TecTiles will work with almost any NFC-enabled smartphone, you will need their TecTile application from Google Play to program them.
Do you think that Samsung is taking the correct approach with regards to NFC by easing users into the experience or are they simply setting themselves up to fall behind in the mobile payment race by playing it safe?