ShopKeep, a provider of cloud-based retail-management software, has announced that it’s going to support NFC technology for transactions, along with the EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) standards that are set to become mandatory in the US next year.
It’s a good step forward for the company and for Apple Pay, the soon-to-be-released mobile payment platform for Apple’s iPhone line. While NFC card readers are common components at POS terminals in Canada, they aren’t yet commonplace in the US, and that has presented Apple with a problem as it has tried to move forward with its digital wallet program, which requires NFC technology for mobile payments. ShopKeep’s platform is designed for small businesses, and will likely help Apply Pay to find greater market penetration, which could also encourage larger businesses to hop on the bandwagon.
It’s not all about Apple, either. While Apple is pioneering the combination of mobile payments with biometric security, via its iPhones’ fingerprint-scanning Touch ID component, there are already digital wallets on the market such as Google Wallet and Softcard, and NFC integration could be important to their futures too. The important thing is that everybody seems to be starting to move in the same direction: Apple seems to be intuiting that consumers will adopt mobile payment systems en masse when those payments are made with truly secure devices, and biometric technology allows just that. With smaller companies like India’s Xolo starting to produce cheaper smartphones with biometric security, it’s easy to see how the future of retail tends.