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    NFC contactless payments: What are they?

    If you’re accepting contactless payments, or are looking for a card machine for the first time, you’ve probably heard about NFC payments or technology.

    In this article, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about NFC contactless payment.

    What is NFC?

    NFC – Near Field Communication – allows devices to share information with other NFC-enabled devices using radio-frequency identification (RFID) and is commonly used in contactless cards and smartphones.

    The technology has become more widespread with the increasing use of contactless payment cards, and most smartphones how come with NFC technology built in for users to make contactless payments.

    How NFC works

    When one NFC device gets close to another NFC device or tag, it creates a magnetic field, which powers the NFC tag containing a small microchip that stores information (like a customer’s payment information).

    When an NFC-enabled device is brought close to another NFC-enabled device or an NFC tag, it creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field then powers the NFC tag, which contains a small microchip that stores information. This information can include anything from contact details to payment information.

    Essentially the technology allows two devices to communicate with each other and wirelessly transfer information from one device to another.

    NFC and contactless payments

    How NFC enables contactless payments

    When you make contactless payments using NFC technology, your NFC-enabled device or contactless card communicates with the payment terminal through a short-range wireless signal.

    This allows the payment terminal to verify your payment information, which is stored on your device.

    All you need to do is hold your device or card close to the payment machine, and the payment will be processed automatically, providing you have the funds in your account.

    As part of card payment security, you may still be asked to enter your PIN number on the occasional transaction.

    Are NFC contactless payments secure?

    There’s been a lot said about the security of NFC payments, and lots of rumours circulated about the dangers of NFC scanners that can steal data while your card or smartphone is in your pocket.

    The truth is, NFC payments are very secure.

    In order to process a transaction, your device or card needs to be placed close to a paired NFC device, which would be incredibly hard to do without you noticing. Plus, your payments are encrypted, so there’s no way unauthorised access to your payment can happen.

    You’ve also got the increasing use of two-factor authentication, which requires users to either enter their PIN number or use biometric information like a facial scan or fingerprint in order to approve the payment.

    Popular NFC contactless payment platforms

    Apple Pay

    Apple Pay is an NFC mobile payment system that is available on all Apple devices. It allows users to make payments using their Apple devices at any retailer that accepts contactless payments.

    Google Pay

    Google Pay is available on Android and iOS devices and allows users to store their payment information securely on their devices and make payments at any retailer that accepts contactless payments.

    Samsung Pay

    Samsung Pay is available exclusively on Samsung devices. It allows users to make payments at any retailer that accepts contactless payments using their Samsung device.

    The future of NFC contactless payment

    With contactless payments continuing to push ahead as the preferred way to pay for goods and services, NFC technology is going to become more popular.

    Especially when you look at the new payment technology coming through, which now allows customers to pay for things using wearable smart technology like smartwatches.

    If you’re a business looking to keep up to date with the latest payment choices, then getting to grips with NFC technology is definitely something that can help.


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