Near Field Communications Holds Big Promise for Retailers, But New Headaches for the Contingency Planner
How Will It Affect How I Work?
How might this affect you at work, particularly if you are a contingency planner? First, many commercial organizations will have to purchase phone readers, assuming the technology catches on and that they want a piece of the pie. Consider the “Pay Pass” Exxon uses, where people wave their car keys in front of the pump before they tank up. NFC technology could extend this kind of convenience to virtually all purchases. While on one hand this can mean new business, it also means new operating and security standards for the retailer or company. What happens, for example, the first time someone hacks a phone to make a $10,000 purchase at a jewelry store? Yet, by not accepting this payment method, the jeweler may be excluding a lucrative customer. Balancing revenue against risk is always the devil’s own dilemma. NFC technology may complicate this balancing act even more.
So what should contingency planners and corporate auditors consider when devising operating and security standards for these devices? Obviously if an employee’s phone has NFC technology and they lose it, the wrong people may start charging things to a company account. Even worse for the employee, personal financial information may well be in the phone as well. That only makes sense because people need to split spending between accounts, in much the same way they use corporate or personal credit cards depending on their purchase. A tank of gas for the company car goes on a company card. Chuck E. Cheese for their son or daughter’s birthday goes on a personal card. The burning question here should be in the event an NFC-enabled device is lost or stolen, will there be ways to freeze spending and avoid the financial hit?