Dec 302012
mobile payments through smartphones and other devices are changing business

Many businesses have made easy money by ‘clipping the ticket’ of the customer, new technologies like Near Field Communications and cloud computing threaten the easy profits of many organisations.

During yesterday’s 2UE Tech Talk Radio spot where Seamus Byrne and I stood in for Trevor Long, host John Cadogan raised the prospect of replacing car keys and even dashboards with smartphones equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC) systems.

Since NFC technologies appeared we’ve concentrated on the banking and payments aspects of these features but there’s far more to this technology than just smartphones replacing credit cards.

With the right software an NFC equipped smartphone, tablet computer, or even a wristwatch could replace any electronic controller – this is already happening with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled home sound systems, TV remote controllers and games consoles.

An important effect of this is that it cuts out expensive custom replacements like bespoke control units or electronic car keys.

Car keys are a good example of how what was previously a high cost profitable item becomes commodified and those business that had a nice revenue stream find new technology cuts them out.

As keys become replaced with NFC enabled devices then then the scam of with new sets of keys costing up to a thousand dollars with fat profits for everybody involved becomes redundant.

This is something we’re seeing across industries as incumbent businesses find their profitable activities disrupted by smart players using new technology.

Just as manufacturing and publishing have been dealing with these disruptions for the past two decades, it’s coming to all industries and it’s going to take smart operators to deal with the changes.

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