bookmark_borderAn Improvement to NFC and Contactless Payment Systems

A few days ago, I was at a grocery store that allows me to tap a credit card to pay, or I can use Apple Pay via my iPhone or Apple Watch. But at the end of the transaction, the machine spits out a paper receipt that will eventually go into the trash. The idea of a paper receipt, especially given how common digital payment transactions have become, seems a little archaic. I started to think about it, and it seems like this should be a reasonably easy fix. First, the NFC protocols should be updated to support sending receipt information back to a mobile device using the XML or JSON formats. Second, Apple and Google should update their devices to natively receive this information at the end of the transaction and include the information in some sort of secure document space. On the Apple side, it seems like a “receipts” section could be added to the Wallet app to facilitate this.

The only downside I see is that you’d have to keep your mobile device close to the NFC reader for a few seconds longer, as you’d need to wait for the transaction to be authorized with the bank, and come back as “Approved”. Maybe there should be another prompt after the transaction is approved that asks the customer if they’d like a receipt and gives them the options of:

  1. Yes, Printed
  2. Yes, Digital
  3. No

If the customer selects option number 2, they’d be prompted to hold their mobile device up to the payment terminal again so that the receipt information could be transferred.

I think this would allow more opportunities for budgeting apps as well because you’d be able to import the receipt information into your list of transactions, enriching the data already gained by being connected to your bank account.

bookmark_borderOctober 6th, 2023

I’ve been reading a book called The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer as part of a class that I’m taking. Usually, I try to write my own devotionals, but in chapter five of the book, a few paragraphs stood out to me as something that was in my heart, but I was not a competent enough writer to express it with my own words.

Source: Tozer, A. W. “Chapter V, The Universal Presence.” The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine, Moody Publishers, Chicago, 2015. — Originally published in 1948.

The idea of cultivation and exercise, so dear to the saints of old, has now no place in our total religious picture. It is too slow, too common. We now demand glamour and fast flowing dramatic action. A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar.

The tragic results of this spirit are all about us. Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit: these and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul.

For this great sickness that is upon us no one person is responsible, and no Christian is wholly free from blame. We have all contributed, directly or indirectly, to this sad state of affairs. We have been too blind to see, or too timid to speak out, or too self-satisfied to desire anything better than the poor average diet with which others appear satisfied. To put it differently, we have accepted one another’s notions, copied one another’s lives and made one another’s experiences the model for our own. And for a generation the trend has been downward. Now we have reached a low place of sand and burnt wire grass and, worst of all, we have made the Word of Truth conform to our experience and accepted this low plane as the very pasture of the blessed.

It will require a determined heart and more than a little courage to wrench ourselves loose from the grip of our times and return to Biblical ways. But it can be done. Every now and then in the past Christians have had to do it. History has recorded several large-scale returns led by such men as St. Francis, Martin Luther and George Fox. Unfortunately there seems to be no Luther or Fox on the horizon at present. Whether or not another such return may be expected before the coming of Christ is a question upon which Christians are not fully agreed, but that is not of too great importance to us now.

What God in His sovereignty may yet do on a world-scale I do not claim to know: but what He will do for the plain man or woman who seeks His face I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days.

Any man who by repentance and a sincere return to God will break himself out of the mold in which he has been held, and will go to the Bible itself for his spiritual standards, will be delighted with what he finds there.

Let us say it again: The Universal Presence is a fact. God is here. The whole universe is alive with His life. And He is no strange or foreign God, but the familiar Father of our Lord Jesus Christ whose love has for these thousands of years enfolded the sinful race of men. And always He is trying to get our attention, to reveal Himself to us, to communicate with us. We have within us the ability to know Him if we will but respond to His overtures. (And this we call pursuing God!) We will know Him in increasing degree as our receptivity becomes more perfect by faith and love and practice.

O God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with visible things. The world has been too much with me. Thou hast been here and I knew it not. I have been blind to Thy Presence. Open my eyes that I may behold Thee in and around me. For Christ’s sake, Amen.