January 10, 2007

Nokia Launches 6131 NFC Credit Card Phone

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by Brian Turner

Nokia Launches 6131 NFC Credit Card Phone

Nokia demonstrated its new 6131 NFC (near field communication) phone which doubles as a credit card, at the CES show in Las Vegas.

The Nokia 6131 NFC is being used in trials in New York City, in cooperation with Mastercard, Citibank and Cingular. The NFC shell around the flip phone allows it to be used as a wireless or debit credit card, transferring payment information to pads at some retailers’ cash registers.

There have been security concerns about NFC and RFID (radio frequency identification) technology, regarding whether payment data could be accessed fraudulently. Although NFC chips only function over distances of a few inches, researchers have found ways to “skim” data out of RFID-equipped credit cards.

NFC is more secure than RFID because it’s a two-way system. This means that a phone could demand a password or PIN to complete a transaction. NFC has a number of possible applications - e.g. it could be used to download information from business cards or advertising posters.

Other features of the 6131 include a high-resolution 320×240, 16.7 million colour main screen, a large 128×160, 262k-color external screen, a 1-megapixel camera and a microSD card slot. The phone plays MP3, AAC and WMA music files and has a built-in FM radio. It supports Bluetooth for both headsets and music headphones, and measures less than an inch thick.

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