My NFC phone: contactless, flawless and just a little bit pointless - for now
What's been your favourite Olympic moment so far?
Mine's been the one where Samsung and Visa got me in a room and gave me an NFC-enabled Galaxy SIII with £50 pre-loaded on it.
The atmosphere was amazing. I can't deny I punched the air, and then wept.
It wasn't just for me, it was for all the other journalists who'd toiled away writing stories about contactless payments without achieving the same reward.
In a sense, they were all there with me.
In a more real sense, only I had the phone.
So, anyway, how has my experiment with an NFC wallet been? Well, I'm pleased to say the tech is excellent. After dozens of flawless and speedy transactions, only one debited me twice for the same payment (actually, it didn't – it just took a while before the wallet displayed the right information).
Topping up the balance is done with a four digit PIN and takes seconds. And the wallet works when the phone appears to have no battery.
It's been interesting to see how the retailers respond to the weird guy with the contactless phone. In my local cafe where I use it most days, they displayed a classic arc: fascination followed by acceptance followed by indifference (there's no phase of denial or anger, thank goodness).
I'm sure that Visa will be hoping for the same reaction from the general public when it gets its hands on the mobile wallet. Blase mass acceptance would suit them just fine.
I'm happy to report that 'civilians' also appear fascinated by my phone. I often do impromptu demos to interested coffee drinkers – especially if they're female and have lustrous dark hair.
But what can I really show them? Look, I can touch to pay! (I can do that with a card); look, I get a transaction record! (who keeps receipts for muffin purchases?).
It's been said many times that NFC payment solves a problem that doesn't exist. And after using it for a bit, it's hard to argue.
The real value, of course, is in the ability to redeem offers. If I have to choose between Nero and Starbucks, and Nero pushes a BOGOF offer to my phone, why wouldn't I redeem it?
This two way communication is the only real benefit contactless mobile has over cards and cash, which explains the coming turf war between Google Wallet, Isis, Project Oscar and all the rest. The question of who controls this process, well, that's the one with the huge dollar signs over it.
Actually you don't even need a payment element to make this channel valuable. The real gold is in the metrics. Apple gets this. Its Passbook feature will support offer redemptions without any transactional component.
So I await the next phase with interest. And, Visa, I expect my phone to be upgraded accordingly.
At Rio 2016.