2013 - The end of the credit card world?

2013 could very well be the year that plastic credit cards and debit cards become extinct according to the Australian telecommunications industry.

Australian telecommunications companies are planning a big step up in Near Field Communications (NFC) in 2013, making contactless mobile phone payments commonplace, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Vodafone are forecasting numerous NFC enabled mobile devices to reach the Australian market in 2013 and are expecting more than 80% of devices sold on its network will be NFC-enabled by the year end. The growth of NFC has seen Vodafone tie up with Visa to create a SmartPass mobile device application that uses Visa PayWave technology to allow shoppers to pay for goods by simply swiping their mobile phone over a sensor that deducts the payment from a prepaid Visa account.

Visa Australia manager Vipin Kalra has said the the application will be "secure and reliable" with password protection, GPS tracing of transactions and the same fraud analysis as regular credit cards. However, users will need to setup a prepaid Visa account to use the service.

The application is expected to be usable in over 100,000 locations including Coles and Woolworths, and in over 30 countries. Although, according to the Australian National Retailers Association CEO Margy Osmond, the speed at which retailers implement the technology will depend upon the demand by retail customers.

While NFC technology is set to make paying for goods easier, Australian consumers looking to get a new credit card in 2013 will still need to shop around for the best credit card rates to avoid paying unnecessarily high interest rates and fees.

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