Using cellphones to pay for stuff via NFC (near-field communications) is certainly nothing new
; Sony, for one, has been doing it for years with its FeliCa
system in Japan. Regardless of how dominant FeliCa or NXP's Mifare are, though, standardization is always
a welcome move in an industry that hasn't quite taken off yet on a global scale. Sony and NXP have committed to putting their noggins together to come up with a unified standard for NFC payments that will ultimately support both FeliCa and Mifare-based equipment, while also bringing together two of the most widely-deployed systems to date. Given that both Sony and NXP parent Philips are members of the NFC Forum
, we have hope that this announcement lines up nicely with that group's efforts, too, rather than going against the grain with a parallel effort. Not to say we'd put that kind of buffoonery past Sony, of course.