NFC Forum wants to bundle age verification and payment receipts in tap-to-pay

The multi-tap capability can be used to automatically get e-tickets for public transit, as well.

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The NFC Forum, the non-profit org made up of big tech companies promoting the NFC standard, envisions a future wherein one tap is all you need for multiple actions at once. With a single tap, for instance, you could pay for your purchase, get points on your rewards account and receive a digital receipt on your phone. The organization released a document that can give you an overview of what the NFC multi-purpose tap capability is and how it can potentially be used.

It explains that the multi-purpose tap "leverages the capability of NFC devices to allow both reading and writing of data across a connection." That enables several actions, which typically requires multiple stages, to be accomplished at one time. If you're buying alcohol, tapping to pay for it would also verify your identity and your age. You could also get a product's sustainability information, including ways its packaging can be recycled, on your phone the moment you pay for it.

For public transit, the technology could ensure you're getting charged the correct fare, taxes and concessions every time. If the ride you're taking requires a ticket that you'll need to show a conductor, operators will be able to automatically issue you an e-ticket when you pay with the new multi-purpose tap experience.

As The Verge notes, the capability does raise some privacy concerns, seeing as it automates everything, including identity verification. In addition, it will allow companies to trigger targeted marketing communications that you'll then get straight on your smartphone. Multi-purpose tap is still in its very early stages at the moment, though, and the NFC Forum is seeking contributions as it looks at market use cases for the technolog. The organization — which includes Apple, Google and Huawei, among other tech companies and manufacturers — still has to conduct tests to make sure the NFC technology is working as intended, as well, and to define standards to "enable mass market delivery."