NFC, or Near-Feild Commuincation has been used for a long-ass time in many Asian countries. According to MobileBurn Sprint Nextel will soon begin trial runs of NFC with the BART (San Fran’s ‘Bay Area Rapid Transportation’) and participating Jack In the Boxes. In addition to paying for subway rides and burgers, Sprint customers with the appropriately equipped handsets, will be able to receive advertisements and discounts. Compatible handsets are manufactured by Samsung and the payment system is ran by Western Union. Philips ran some trial runs of this back in 2005, but I’m not sure if it really went anywhere. SanDisk also announced memory cards that included the NFC technology back in May, 2006, but that’s the last I saw of this.
This news comes on the heals of Inside Contactless announcing an initiative to rollout contactless payment to 1.3 billion users throughout the world, including the US.