Near field technology: Purchase with phone

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Those who keep up with the latest technology have heard that Apple announced their new cell phone on Tuesday.

While the phone will come with a bevy of features, one new feature stands out as a possible game changer. It involves being able to use the cellular device as a way to make purchases.

This technology, called near field communication, has been used in various ways for some time and has support on Android based smart phones running Android 4.4 and later. Cell phone makers want to use this technology to replace credit and debit cards.

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Tuesday, Apple added their device to that list.

What does this mean for the average consumer?

Well, instead of using a debit or credit card to complete purchases at participating retailers, your phone would perform that task.

So far places such as McDonald’s, Target and Macy’s are primed to participate in this new payment method, slated to begin in October in the United States.

If it proves successful, others are sure to follow. Most people these days have become accustomed to breaking out the debit card to make a purchase. And while they have a certain level of protection in the form of a pin code on debit cards and a lesser form with the signature on the credit cards, those protections can be circumvented.

Use of this near field technology, along with fingerprint security, is touted to bring financial security to the next level.

But as we all know, inevitably the games of cat and mouse between those that would steal your personal information and those who work to protect it will ensue.

It may be best to wait it out a bit before adopting this new technology when it launches.

There will be glitches and some loopholes that people with ulterior motives will exploit to steal personal information.

But if you are brave, you can be one of the first to try out a new method of buying lunch from the golden arches.