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Guest Post: Near Field Communication (NFC) – Is this the new form of making payments?

Near field communication is all the rage in today’s mobile tech talk. But what exactly is it and how is it going to benefit us? The ways and means of communication are ever changing, and NFC is the newest kid on the block. Move on Bluetooth!

Who benefits?

  • Soccer moms at grocery store check outs
  • Business executives on the subway to and from work
  • Students on a Museum tour
  • Businesses who need quicker and more secure payment gateways for their consumers
  • And many more.

How it works:

This technology allows Smartphones and other enabled devices communicate with other devices that have an NFC tag. It enables tap-to-pay functionality on Smartphones. Unlike Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, NFC uses electromagnetic radio fields, and can be used by devices close to each other. There are three types of NFC Technology: Type A, Type B and Felica (common in Japan). NFC devices may be passive, like the tag (just contains info), or active, like a Smartphone which can read the info on the tag and communicate with other devices.

When sending sensitive information like credit card numbers, the data is encrypted and sent through secure channels.

The required software is a mobile wallet.  It needs to perform these three functions:

  1. Administer the NFC hardware and vital protocols with the payment networks
  2. Store your banking information like, credit card credentials, and handle communication with monetary institutions.
  3. Serve as a hub or platform for 3rd party apps so that the applications can be tied into the wallet.

Where can you use it?

  • At you office you can swipe your Smartphone to gain access, clock in and out when you go on breaks, and buy snacks from the vending machine.
  • You can use NFC to buy your passes for the bus or subway, to enter and exit gates; tap your phone at kiosks to get detailed schedules, and changes if any.
  • You can have coupons and loyalty points pre-loaded on your Smartphone. When you buy groceries, these are automatically applied when you pay. You can make your payment by just waving you phone, never having to open your wallet.
  • You can use NFC to buy concert tickets and drinks.

Tracking expenses, transferring money and managing accounts and getting alerts, with regards to how much money/credit is available are some of the third party apps that are likely to be tied in. This will make it not just an app, but a Payments Operating System.

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4 comments to Guest Post: Near Field Communication (NFC) – Is this the new form of making payments?

  • “This technology allows Smartphones and other enabled devices communicate with other devices that have an NFC tag.”
    An nfc tag is an nfc chip with antenna.
    Better; This technology allows nfc enabled devices (smartphones) communicate with other devices and tags that have an nfc chip.

    The NFC Forum has mandated FOUR tag types to be operable with NFC devices.
    (The Samsung TecTiles tags use Mifare Classic chips from NXP, which is NOT one of the four tag types standardized by the NFC Forum!)
    For a lot more information about NFC tags you can also visit my website.

  • Mary

    As much as I can see how such things can be used poorly, I might as well learn to embrace them because they’re here whether we like it or not. The best thing we can do is to learn how to better protect ourselves from malicious use.

  • Hammer

    Just one more reason we’re going down! When they implant a chip in my butt is when I draw the line and go postal.