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Contactless payments coming to laptops

16 November 2011 - 11:58 by Simon Crisp

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Chip manufacturer Intel is working to bring NFC technology which will allow people to make payments from their laptops via safe shopping online, without the need for endless form completion or security checks.

A growing number of smartphones are beginning to feature integrated NFC chips, which allow users to make small purchases when they are out and about in a store with compatible terminals.

Through Intel's partnership with MasterCard, it is going to integrate NFC terminals into its Ultrabook range of laptops, which are produced by manufacturers such as Asus.

If you push aside all of the technical jargon and confusing acronyms, this essentially means that when you want to pay for products using safe shopping online, you can simply get out your mobile phone, placed it onto your laptop and the NFC technology will do all of the hard work.

Customer satisfaction surveys regularly conclude that consumers are always looking for a simpler way to pay for things when they use e-commerce sites.

At the moment the checkout systems require that you enter extensive personal details and spend precious minutes filling out forms, all of which can make the high street seem far simpler. This is all done in the name of security, but by giving users built in NFC chips, it will be possible to streamline the process and still deliver the required levels of protection to avoid fraud.

Intel is confident that the security measures it has developed will be more than sufficient to give average users the protection they need when browsing e-commerce sites. Both the hardware and the software have checks and encryption to ensure that the payment can be authenticated safely.

Of course you will need to buy a new phone and a new laptop to take advantage of this evolution in e-commerce, so it could be a few years until it is a widely available feature.