Imagine a world where you leave your home with nothing but your keys and your phone. No wallet needed – it’s all in your phone. Want to pay for movies or buy a few groceries? Simply move your mobile phone over a reader device, and the transaction is complete.

In many ways, this new technology is already here. While not commonplace in the United States, people are utilizing this technology in select places throughout the world. And it’s growing. As we begin to use smart technology, and increase our usage of smartphones, such as the iPhone, this new way of shopping is only a step behind.

What makes it all possible is a technology called near-field communication, that allows a microchip to send and receive data across very short distances, around four inches. Instead of pulling out your credit card to swipe through a machine, you simply hold your smartphone above a reader device, which allows the data to process between the two machines.

While it’s the next logical step in the technology process, who will become the leader in this new technology is still up for grabs. Phone companies are working to equip their phones with the right technology to make it possible. Credit card companies are working to use the technology efficiently in different technology tools. Together, we’ll see a variety of things come into play over the next few months and years.

And as a business owner, it’s important to keep your business up to date. Do you work with a merchant services company that can bring you the latest technology? Do you work with a company that stays on top of the right tools, and can give you suggestions that will benefit you? If not, are you ready to start with someone who does?

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