The NFC mobile-payment application is currently in trials in the United States, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and a few other countries, with transportation ticketing as a primary use (think SpeedPass on a cell phone). NFC requires a user to actively wave or hold their mobile device against another device or NFC station to activate a service or to share information. NFC can be used for a number of tasks, from payment for goods to ticketing and from pairing devices to sharing information or discovering new services. Even if you’ve never owned an NFC-equipped phone or tablet (like the Samsung Galaxy S5 or a Nokia Lumia), you’ve probably used NFC. NFC (near-field communication) allows two devices placed within a few centimeters of each other to exchange data.
Now that the technology is placed in more Android and Windows phones – and Apple’s iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch – NFC is more relevant than ever. One-way communication: Here, a powered device (like a phone, credit card reader, or commuter card terminal) reads and writes to an NFC chip. So, when you tap your commuter card on the terminal, the NFC-powered terminal subtracts money from the balance written to the card.
For instance, instead of going through this process to pair your phone with Bluetooth speakers , you can simply tap the phone to a speaker, let the devices use NFC to exchange the pairing data, and you’re set. One day, we’ll all be paying for things with our phones, and NFC is the ticket to that future. From there, the payment finishes processing the same way it would in a traditional credit card swipe transaction.
In light of the many recent credit card data breaches , now is an especially good time to present a solution that finally shields our wallets from theft and fraud. Many retailers – including Target, Macys, and Walgreens – already have NFC-based contactless pay terminals in place, making the transition to mobile payments easy. The biggest concern around NFC payments is security, but the mobile payment structure is so complex, any hacking or intercepting would be very difficult. After launching the payment application on your phone, the phone is tapped on the credit card terminal and a connection is made using NFC.
The transaction is then validated with a separate chip called the secure element, which relays that authorization back to the NFC modem. The most important step in the mobile payment transaction is the secure element, which holds all the authorization power. Each time a user initiates a transaction, the SE assists in generating a random, one-time use code in lieu of transmitting the user’s debit or credit card number. NFC tags: This is probably the most common way NFC is currently used on Android and Windows phones. Using your phone, you can tap a strategically-placed NFC tag, which prompts your phone to take action on something.
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