Hot news this week is the apparent revolution in how we pay for goods and services, with the introduction of Near-Field Communications (NFC) to mobile phones which will make it possible to authorise payment via the swipe of the handset over a sensor. What’s that, security fears, I hear you cry? Well have no fear, as 1 in 10 transactions will require a PIN number for proof that you haven’t just mugged someone. So, 1 out of every 10 muggings will result in a disappointed mugger returning to the streets purchase less, looking for the next victim. That’s reassuring.
And let’s just ignore any high-tech criminals who may wander around transport hubs, ‘accidently’ bumping into you with something rather large protruding from their pockets. Is that an NFC reader in their pockets or are they just pleased to see you? Hello Mr Hacker. Either way, you probably want to avoid such a scenario.
As our lives are ever so busy these days, it seems that we don’t have time for pesky arrangements such as buying a chocolate bar with things called coins or (get this!) money made from paper (so last year darling). That’s why this system has been devised to speed up the time it takes to make purchases, from an average of 3 minutes 20 seconds, to an average of 3 minutes 18 seconds. Probably. So long as you aren’t waiting behind an old lady, that is. And you’ve remembered to charge your phone.
Is it just me, or is this a technological advance that isn’t really needed? Who asked for this? Apparently research has shown that people are much more likely to leave behind their wallets than their phone. I couldn’t travel without my wallet! And I sometimes forget my phone if it’s charging out of sight. But maybe that’s just me…
Hasn’t the current ‘consumer convenience’ obsession started to get out of hand? Surely this is an unnecessary leap, or maybe I’m just getting old. For me it’s just another pointless technology that I don’t understand the need for. Like audio-books – you’re attention span is too short to read a book, so you’d rather that someone else reads it aloud for you?! Come on (excluding the sight-impaired of course!).
I’m all for new ground-breaking technology that pushes the boundaries and improves the quality of life. But sometimes everyone just seem to be technology-obsessed and in too much of a rush. They want the latest ‘advance’ yesterday. Or maybe the day before yesterday. Maybe we should all just slow down.