Near field communication is something that most people experience in our daily lives without giving it a second thought. NFC technology is related to other common communications tech including Bluetooth, far-field communication, and QR codes. Near field communications devices are so common that most of us do not even realize when they are being used. When it comes to making electronic payments, near field communication has been a game-changer in recent years.
With all of this in mind, today we will explore the current and prospective technology enabled by near field communication, how NFC tech is used in our everyday lives, and how all of this translates to mobile payment solutions and other electronic payments.
Near Field Communication in 2020 and Beyond
Near field communication, frequently shortened to just NFC, is a method by which multiple devices can communicate with one another without making physical contact. NFC is different but similar to Bluetooth technology (more on this below). When a mobile payment is made by waving a smartphone to make a contactless payment, that is using near field communication technology. Nearly all modern mobile devices come equipped with NFC capabilities. Countless apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store make usage of this built-in tech.
NFC relies on radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to communicate between devices through radio waves. This is the same basic technology that allows us to scan groceries, tag luggage, and much more. NFC uses an RFID frequency of 13.56 MHz to communicate, essentially setting a standard that has been adopted across many industries and devices.
Common Uses of NFC in Everyday Life
So far we have referenced how prevalent near field communication technology is in your everyday life. Here are some common examples you probably never realized relied on radio waves:
Automatic car key functionality: if your car is a push start, unlocks itself, or even automatically adjust your seats, you are relying on NFC technology. In fact, this same tech also likely powers your swipe card, mobile phone, or fob to get into your parking garage or building as well.
Using a mass transit pass: your bus pass or subway pass likely utilizes NFC to interact with access terminals. Again, this is the same technology that can be used by cards, mobile devices, or other products else with access to your account information.
Making payments with a mobile device: as we will discuss in greater detail below, making payments with a smart device utilizes near field communication to access your banking or credit card app and communicate that to the POS system or other payment terminals.
Many more: data sharing between phones using airdrops, accessing concerts or events with digital tickets, and many other applications of NFC are used more frequently than you might realize!
NFC vs. Bluetooth Technologies
Near field communication and Bluetooth are extremely similar, but have a few key differences. NFC and Bluetooth both utilize radio waves to wirelessly communicate between devices, transfer data, and more. NFC does not require the same pairing as Bluetooth. Instead, NFC will communicate with any nearby devices on the same radio frequency. This makes NFC faster and more convenient in many ways. Bluetooth requires more energy, but also transmits at far greater distances. This makes NFC inherently more secure than Bluetooth as well due to the fact that extreme proximity is required to transfer data.
Near Field Communication Tech for Electronic Payments
Near field communication is the present and likely future of contactless payments. Contactless payments can be considered any method of payment which does not require a physical swipe, dip, or manual entry. This type of payment is also frequently referred to as “tap-and-go”. Common contactless payment methods which utilize NFC include Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and smart EMV cards.
Near field communication for electronic payments are also quite secure. They are dynamically encrypted using appropriate POS terminals and the underlying software to accept contactless payments. In this way, contactless payments are actually often more secure than traditional credit card or debit card payments. Coupled with the convenience of mobile banking and other digital wallet solutions, we expect to see even more NFC payments hit the mainstream in the years to come.
True Merchants Offers NFC Solutions for Small Businesses
True Merchant is a Better Business Bureau accredited merchant services company which focuses on helping small businesses. We understand that the details of processing debit card and credit card payments are often the last thing on business owners’ minds. That is why we offer transparent, fair pricing models for our top-notch services including CardSecure, NFC payments, online payment solutions, and much more! Many of our products come equipped with the hardware and software to accept near field communication payment methods.
To learn more about how True Merchant can help your small business, please contact us today by calling or filling out an online form. One of our qualified merchant services professionals will be happy to get you started.