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Aussies love NFC payments and bitcoiners are building these too

A recent RBA report shows that contactless payments are extremely popular. These are made possible by NFC technology. Developers and entrepreneurs are bringing this to bitcoin transactions, which have until now relied largely on QR codes.

A recent report from the RBA revealed that Australians are paying more often with wallets on their mobile phones. These mobile wallets use NFC, “near-field communication” to interact with payment terminals. In the last two years, the share of such transactions more than doubled to 25%.

Transactions using mobile wallets account for over one quarter of all payments.

The convenience of contactless or “tap and go” payments have made them popular and they are displacing the use of cash. The RBA report states that “in a recent survey commissioned by the Bank, around a quarter of respondents reported that their reduction in transactional use of cash over the pandemic was likely to be permanent.”

Payment with cash are still substantial but subject to a multi-decade decline.

The RBA report did not include data for bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin is built on a decentralised network and payments can be made peer-to-peer. As such, it can be difficult to produce accurate statistics for its usage without making resort to heuristic assumptions.

The Satscard and Tapsigner resemble credit and debit cards. They also have an embedded NFC chip. Image source.

NFC is what makes contactless payments technology possible. Developers and entrepreneurs are working on bringing NFC to bitcoin payments. Examples include the collaborative wallet made by Nunchuck. Its functions integrate with new NFC-enabled devices from Coinkite such as the Satscard, the Tapsigner and the Coldcard Mk4. Coincorner has released the Bolt card that runs on the lightning network.

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