Near Field Communication - Mass Transportation

When I was in college, I lived for the last three years in an apartment off campus. I did not have a car for the majority of the time and so if I wanted to go anywhere I was going to take the bus. This also meant I had to make sure I always had quarters on me or small bills. More than a few times I was about to go home after a long night of work or trying to get to class on time when I would reach into my pocket and my heart would sink as I would realize I was either walking or I had to go to the corner store to break a five. Following the pattern of this particular blog, I know that NFC will in the not-too-distant future, help out people in need of mass transportation, making getting places easier, and allowing corner stores to keep their ones.

This is another instance of the implementation of NFC technology taking time not because of the technology needing to be developed, but because there simply is not enough infrastructure to support it. In this case, busses need to be equipped with NFC readers, devices which can read the rider’s information quickly and conveniently, subtracting the fare from a prepaid card or a debit card. 

This is another way NFC might be able to change the way we do things… some prepaid cards and services. Consider the prepaid card for mass transportation like the subway or the bus. There is an entirely separate card system made for the subway to increase the convenience with which people can use mass transit. This separate card is in use because it can be read almost instantaneously upon being swiped, thereby avoiding lines that might form if people were looking for change or waiting for their credit card to be approved. If an NFC enabled device were able to store someone’s banking information, there would be no need for these separate means of payment, as the money for the fare would be taken directly out of the rider’s bank account.

With the amount of time I have spent in Boston, I am well aware of how expensive mass transit can be (though not nearly as expensive as paying for parking) and so this future technology strikes a chord with me. I cannot wait for the day that I can hop into a cab in Boston or New York with my NFC enabled phone, in which it is programmed the exact percentage I am willing to tip, and with a swipe of my phone, or perhaps by simply having my phone on me, I will be able to simply walk out of the cab and get on with my day.

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