Recognizing the excitement around everything mobile, some companies are positioning their innovations as mobile NFC solutions to take advantage of the business interest.
In a recent Forbes article titled "Leave The Credit Card, Take The Cell Phone," we're introduced to mobile payment provider, Bling Nation. Armed with any mobile phone, we can start spending without our credit cards. Instead, we just take our Bling-tagged phones and tap our way to shopping nirvana.
Not so fast. What this article fails to mention is that Bling Nation doesn't actually integrate any NFC functionality into the mobile phone. It issues RFID stickers which you can adhere to your phone, or not. You could just as easily stick it to your keychain, or even your good old fashioned plastic credit card. SMS messages are sent to your number with each transaction, but are not necessary to the service.
The Bling Nation platform doesn't let you leave your credit card at home, rather it let's you stick it to your phone. The technology is no different from any of the current keyfob or card based solutions already available -- except for the smart marketing positioning.
But while this is not a mobile NFC innovation, it does bring a major innovation to the table. Bling Nation takes the bank ATM network out of the equation, and instead offers a wireless clearing house function. Their service is significantly cheaper for retailers to use because they can offer lower transaction charges and monthly fees. So the real innovation is on their mobile payment infrastructure.