Research and experts agree that mobile payments overall are sharply increasing. New technology such as NFC is making it easier and faster to accept payments from customers. NFC uses a special built-in chip which sends payment information securely to credit card companies and participating banks. Information is encrypted and has multiple layers of security built in.
To make a purchase, the customer simply waves a NFC-enabled credit card or smartphone within a few inches of a NFC-enabled POS, and payment data is transmitted via short-range radio waves from their card or phone to the receiver.
Who Supports NFC?
Contactless payments using NFC technology are based on open standards, which means if your business already has NFC terminals that can read NFC-enabled credit cards, it can also accept NFC mobile payments. However, there are a number of mobile payment platforms customers can choose from to make purchases, and the terminal has to be configured for what you want to accept. As far as traditional credit cards that are enabled with NFC technology, there’s MasterCard PayPass and Visa PayWave.
NFC-enabled credit cards have been around for a number of years. It is proven technology. Cards now also offer apps so that consumers can use the same payment system with certain mobile phones, instead of a plastic card.
What Are the Benefits to NFC?
The biggest benefit of NFC checkout is just how quick and easy it is: Customers just tap their cards or phones and go. It eliminates time spent digging around for cash or swiping a card. While that may not sound like a lot of time saved, when you multiply it over hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of transactions, the efficiencies add up. All of this means shorter lines and much happier customers.
Many NFC platforms also make it possible to connect with your customers where it counts. For example, the Isis Mobile Commerce Platform allows you to deliver special offers and promotional information directly to a customer’s mobile wallet.
Are Payments Using NFC Technology Secure?
Mobile payments using NFC technology are very secure — they are just as secure as traditional plastic cards, and merchants have the same level of protection from fraud as with traditional credit cards. Customers’ stored account information is encrypted, and each transaction can be authenticated by PIN. Data is also encrypted when the chip and POS receiver are communicating, making it difficult for even a sophisticated fraudster to “eavesdrop” and try to steal the customer’s information.
Expect Growth in NFC
As with any newer technology, there has been some hype around NFC payments, especially those using mobile phones instead of traditional-looking credit cards. The fact remains that growth in payments using NFC technology is likely to continue, especially as electronic and mobile payments in general soar. Hedge your bets by investigating now, educating yourself and your staff, and signing up for a system so that you are in a position to deliver what customers demand, when they demand it.