Microsoft plans to include mobile-payment technology in new versions of its Windows Phone 7 operating system for smartphones, Bloomberg reports. The first devices boasting these features may be released this year.
The phones running Microsoft’s new software will be based on so-called Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC technology allows for short range wireless communication between two devices for the purpose of data exchange. NFC is a key component to the upcoming mobile payment and mobile wallet systems. NFC technology enables payments and also lets consumers use a handset for other tasks, such as redeeming coupons and loyalty points at local merchants.