We’re in a FinTech future – let’s take a look at how blockchain and NFC technology are transforming the payments industry.

From Bitcoin trading and anti-fraud systems to supply-line tracking and peer-to-peer cloud storage, blockchain technology is taking the world by storm. Despite its adaptation by a variety of companies in different industries, a blockchain’s core value still remains within the cryptocurrency field. With the explosive growth of crypto-trading across the globe, companies are looking to build platforms that enable customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as to convert them into fiat money.

BCMY: A Digital Wallet For The Future

One of the leading companies in the cryptocurrency field is Blockchains.my (BCMY), who have built a mobile app designed for cryptocurrency and digital gold trading. Launched in 2017, BCMY’s app acts as a digital wallet, allowing users to store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, DinarCoin, and soon Gold Smart Contracts. On top of this, users can receive, transfer, and exchange their cryptocurrencies. For the more entrepreneurially minded, the BCMY app allows its users to become merchants and sell their products in exchange for cryptocurrency.

BCMY also has a number of unique features. Its marketplace allows customers to buy and sell products on the app and a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) map means users can locate cryptocurrency buyers, sellers, and merchants nearby. The app also enables users to trade digital gold products, the DinarCoin of which (a gold price-backed token) can be exchanged for physical gold at select locations. The most impressive feature of the app, however, is its ability to work with BCMY’s Near Field Communication (NFC) smart card.

Err….what’s NFC?

Your may not realise it but you could be using NFC technology everyday. When you buy a coffee using apple pay or make a contactless payment card to get on public transport, NFC technology is at work. The technology was developed by Sony and Phillips and uses old-fashioned radio waves that enable devices to exchange data. In this data exchange there is an ‘initiator’ and a ‘target’. In the case of a contactless card payment, the card is the ‘initiator’ and the payment machine is the ‘target’. The ‘initiator’ generates a radio signal and the ‘target’ picks it up. Through this radio signal, a small amount of data is received.

So what’s the big deal?

A small transfer of data from one device to another may sound insignificant to some, but the implications of NFC technology are huge. Hundreds of millions of people across the world already use contactless cards that contain NFC technology to access public transportation. In the automotive industry, there are plans in place to equip cars with NFC technology that would allow passengers to adjust the air conditioning, play music, or verify that it is in fact the owner of the car who is driving. Gamers may already be familiar with NFC technology. The Wii U and Nintendo Switch consoles both use NFC in a number of different video games.

The most popular use of NFC, however, has been in the debit and credit card space. In 2007, Barclays, a UK bank, launched the first NFC-enabled debit card that let users make payments of up to £10 and pay for public transport in London. By 2010 nearly ten million contactless cards had been issued in the UK and over 25 000 merchants accepted NFC-enabled card payments.

Contactless payments – a global phenomenon

Since Barclays launched their NFC card in 2007, there has been a huge growth in contactless payments across the globe. By 2017, consumers in 77 different countries were making over a billion contactless payments a year – all driven by NFC technology. In Australia, one third of all point-of-sale (POS) payments are now made via contactless payments, and in Brazil 70 percent of POS terminals accept contactless payments.

The major reason for this has been the push by large payments companies, such as Visa and Mastercard, to adopt the technology. Both companies have mandated that merchants operating in countries across the world, including the US and Europe, will have to use payment terminals that support NFC technology by 2020.

New technology – new ways of paying

NFC payment technology has transformed the way people pay for things. The Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay apps all enable customers to make contactless payments with only their phones. The more fashion conscious will already be aware of a number of products that enable NFC payments. Apple and LG have both developed smart-watches that allow wearers to make contactless payments, while clothing company TopShop has teamed up with Barclays to create a wristband that enables contactless payments. Visa has even created a pair of sunglasses that enable wearers to make contactless payments. More spookily, Token, a startup technology company, has built a ring that will allow the wearer to make payments, unlock doors and start a car.

Blockchain and NFC – a match made in heaven?

Given that one of the main uses for blockchain, and a major use for NFC technologies, is digital currency, it’s surprising it took someone so long to bring the two together. BCMY’s NFC card is leading the charge to do so. Users who download the BCMY app can easily purchase the NFC card to accompany it. When they have the card, all they have to do is activate it by tapping it on their wallet app and they can start to load their card with their digital assets. Once that’s done then they can make purchases anywhere that NFC payments are accepted. This process simplifies the entire cryptocurrency experience. Rather than waiting weeks for crypto-exchanges to make bank transfers and paying them extortionate transaction fees, users can simply cash out and spend their money immediately.

Cryptocurrency and NFC – onwards and upwards

With the rapid rollout of NFC payment technology across the globe and the continual growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the BCMY app looks set for success. As more and more merchants start to use NFC payment technology, BCMY will be among the first in line to allow its users to easily make payments via cryptocurrency or fiat currencies. At the same time, the company’s digital wallet enables users to make cryptocurrency payments between themselves and merchants with no middleman – something a regular digital wallet provider can’t offer. So as the potential for cryptocurrency and NFC technology continues to grow, BCMY is in a lead position to take full advantage of both technologies.