NFC, we hardly knew you. It was just a year ago when Near Field Communication seemed the clear winner in the battlefor pole position in the looming mobile payments slugfest and manycredit unions were grappling with how to include NFC in theirdigital strategies.

The idea then was that, soon, most smartphones would ship withNFC built in and as merchants upgrade their point-of-sale terminalsto meet the 2015 EMV chip and PIN requirements, NFC would slide inand, presto, we'd all be buying newspapers and burgers with a tapof a phone.

And then Apple shipped the iPhone 5 without NFC – and with no revealed roadmapto get Cupertino to NFC – and all hopes seemingly were crushed.Fact: many, many millions – upwards of 10 million – iPhone 5s willsell in the US before yearend and those buyers will be locked intotwo-year contracts that preclude them from embracing NFC

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