Circle recently enabled Near Field Communication technology on its Android-based mobile app.
Following the announcement, the Bitcoin wallet company joined BitPay in offering tap-to-pay services to spend Bitcoins through Android-enabled devices – a brief demo of which was presented in last year’s Money2020 event in Las Vegas. Circle itself mentioned BitPay in its blog post where it credited the company for trying to expand point-of-sale services to thousands of merchant locations worldwide.
The same post further elaborated the benefits behind using the NFC services, alongside statistics that predicted half a billion people around the world to use this technology by 2019. For some reasons, this Juniper Research analysis indicated Circle’s future plans to dominate the Bitcoin-NFC market, as Bitcoin is also one technology that is speculated to gain wider adoption in the coming years. As a result, what we as consumers received from Circle was the following statement, and a functional Android app.
“Circle now supports touchless mobile payments! As part of our continuing effort to make sending money as simple as possible, we’ve enabled touchless payments via NFC (Near-Field Communication) in the Circle Android app […] Using this NFC integration, Circle customers can tap to pay when checking out with the app at physical locations where bitcoin is accepted.”
No App for iOS Devices?
While BitPay have already launched a NFC-enabled ‘Bitcoin Checkout’ app for both Android and iOS devices, Circle skipped to mention its plans to create a similar app for Apple smartphones and tablets, if there are any. Speculatively, the company might be avoiding a direct clash with Apple Pay – Apple’s very own PoS mobile payment system.
As I myself hold an Apple phone, it would be great to see a Circle app for iOS devices as well. I am sure there’ll be many like me who want the same thing.