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Payments and the disappearing cash register: Your phone is your wallet

We'll be examining such trends as the shift to digital payment systems, near field communications (NFC), new concepts in retail cash registers, as well as Point of Sale software and retail data management and security. All of these factors will contribute to the eventual obsolescence of the old-fashioned cash till. For more than six years, Visa has offered a contactless, NFC-based (near field communications) payment system in select North American markets. This Fall, as a part of its new Digital Wallet initiative, this contactless payment system will be available to customers across the United States. With the Digital Wallet, Visa is striving to make all non-cash purchases as simple as possible. For web-based commerce, that means eliminating the steps where you have to enter your credit card information and billing address, and condensing identity into a single login and user ID. For person-to-person payments, social networking payments and microtransactions, it means broader compatibility with different financial institutions, and a simpler way to engage with them. And for interaction with point of sale terminals, it means giving users the ability to pay simply by holding their NFC-enabled smartphone to a PayWave terminal. The main driver behind Visa's NFC push is to provide the consumer with a faster and more convenient experience in environments where speed is of the essence. NFC's adoption at the Point of Sale first began in cities like New York, Boston, Washington DC, and San Francisco, where there is a lot of foot traffic. The first merchants to really embrace this sort of technology were fast food restaurants, convenience stores, and 24-hour drug stores.

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