NFC, or near-field communication, is a digital transaction of information between two smartphones or tablets. The transaction is completed by placing the devices within 2 inches of each other.
Unlike Bluetooth, which utilizes radio transmissions to provide contactless communication between devices, NFC technology relies on electromagnetic radio fields to transfer information. While the possible range of transfer is much shorter than Bluetooth, Bluetooth consumes much more power to run, while NFC requires little power to function.
Besides its low power consumption levels, NFC is beneficial due to its contactless nature and ease and security of information transfer. Payments can be completed by simply swiping a smartphone over a card reader, eliminating the need for physical credit or debit cards. In some cities, train tickets can be paid for and kept track of digitally.
Additionally, because devices must be within two inches of each other to transfer any information, the chance of hacking in public areas is low. The transfer is quick, simple and secure.NFC technology has been implemented by many major companies over the years. Google allows shoppers to pay using Google Wallet Card, which transfers money to a bank account or retailers that accept Debit Mastercard. Googles mobile operating system, Android, has already instilled NFC technology into its devices.
P2P allows photo and contact data to be exchanged among NFC devices with Android Beam. Consumers can also pay for merchandise at stores that support Android Pay. Payment can be completed by holding the back of the phone against the payment terminal and choosing Credit for all types of cards.Apple announced its official integration of NFC into its devices at the iPhone 6 launch in September 2014. Apple consumers who own more recent models of iPhones can use Apple Pay paired with Touch ID verification to complete transactions.
Apple Pay is also accessible on smartwatches, like Apple Watch, and iPads. NFC remains a promising technology for easing communication between companies and individuals. Should it be more widely implemented by different industries beyond retail, NFC technology can allow everyday devices to possess complex personal information without the bulk or risk, reducing the need to carry cards, papers, or records that can be lost or stolen.