Near Field Communications Holds Big Promise for Retailers, But New Headaches for the Contingency Planner
A Phone Is a Credit Card, Too
People should always be careful with their phone, but arguably the “urgency” isn’t there anymore. Ten years ago, the big fear was someone getting hold of one’s phone and calling India for six hours. Nowadays this isn’t the case. Long distance fraud has all but vanished because long distance has all but vanished. Even considering places (mostly overseas) where it has not, most people know wireless companies will readily write off fraud on a cell phone. It’s just not an issue for them any more. But when NFC technology comes into use, all bets are off. People are going to have to be educated that a phone is a credit card.
Consider that if I drop my credit card in a busy airport and it is used by the finder, my liability under federal law is a long-established $50. Debit cards are a little different, but essentially it’s still a maximum $50 liability if the issuing company is notified within 60 days. There are protections for online use of credit and debit card info both by the government and industry, and services like PayPal and Google provide peace of mind as well. What is the impact of all of this antecedent case law when one drops a cell phone? Frankly, I have no idea, and that’s what concerns me. It should concern you too until rules and standards are codified.