NFC, near field communication, allows one- and two-way communication between endpoints, suitable for many applications.
NFC devices can be used in contactless payment systems, similar to those used in credit cards and electronic ticket smartcards and allow mobile payment to replace/supplement these systems.
In Android 4.4, Google introduced platform support for secure NFC-based transactions through Host Card Emulation (HCE), for payments, loyalty programs, card access, transit passes and other custom services. HCE allows any Android 4.4 app to emulate an NFC smart card, letting users initiate transactions with their device. Apps can use a new Reader Mode to act as readers for HCE cards and other NFC-based transactions.
On September 9, 2014, Apple announced support for NFC-powered transactions as part of Apple Pay. Apple stated that their approach to NFC payment is more secure because Apple Pay tokenizes its data to encrypt and protect it from unauthorized use.
Bootstrapping other connections
NFC(near field communication) offers a low-speed connection with simple setup that can be used to bootstrap more capable wireless connections. For example, Android Beam software uses NFC to enable pairing and establish a Bluetooth connection when doing a file transfer and then disabling Bluetooth on both devices upon completion.Nokia, Samsung, BlackBerry and Sonyhave used NFC technology to pair Bluetooth headsets, media players and speakers with one tap. The same principle can be applied to the configuration of Wi-Fi networks. Samsung Galaxy devices have a feature named S-Beam—an extension of Android Beam that uses NFC (to share MAC Address and IP addresses) and then uses Wi-Fi Direct to share files and documents. The advantage of using Wi-Fi Direct over Bluetooth is that it permits much faster data transfers, running up to 300Mbit/s.
Identity and access tokens
Smartphone automation and NFC tags
NFC-equipped smartphones can be paired with NFC Tags or stickers that can be programmed by NFC apps. These programs can allow a change of phone settings, texting, app launching, or command execution.
Such apps do not rely on a company or manufacturer, but can be utilized immediately with an NFC-equipped smartphone and an NFC tag.
The NFC Forum published the Signature Record Type Definition (RTD) 2.0 in 2015 to add integrity and authenticity for NFC Tags. This specification allows an NFC device to verify tag data and identify the tag author.
NFC was used in video games starting with Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. With it you buy figurines that are customizable and contain personal data with each figure, so no two figures are exactly alike. The Wii U was the first system to include NFC technology out of the box via the GamePad. It was later included in the New Nintendo 3DS range. The Amiibo range of accessories utilises NFC technology to unlock features.