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Increased support for NFC-ready computers

13 September 2012 - 15:23 by David Aiken

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NFC (near field communication) is an increasingly important technology, not only for contactless transactions in the real world, but also for safe shopping online, with more major firms getting behind the concept of adding NFC chips to future generations of desktop and laptop computers.

Payment card firm, MasterCard, is the latest big fish to jump onboard with NFC, using the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) event this week to talk about its plans for the technology.

It said that it would be joining forces with Intel, to integrate NFC sensors into future computer hardware, which will allow customers to tap their NFC-enabled payment cards against the computer, when they want to make a purchase via safe shopping online.

In many ways, this approach makes total sense, because it will really turn the e-commerce experience into one which reflects the speed of the checkout process afforded by bricks and mortar outlets.

There are also many who argue that using NFC to purchase products online, will offer customers a more secure way to shop, because there will be integrated safety systems to protect users and make fraudulent transactions much more difficult to conduct.

Another benefit to using NFC is that things like card numbers and numerical security codes printed directly onto them, will no longer be an obstacle to e-commerce. At the moment, when you get a new card you will often need to go around your various online accounts and update the information, so that your next transaction is a success; with NFC onboard this will be unnecessary.

NFC seems like it is just about to spill over into the mainstream, thanks largely to the heavy promotion which it is undergoing at the hands of companies like MasterCard. Anything which makes online shopping easier and safer for consumers is to be welcomed.