You’ve probably heard the term “contactless payments” a lot over the last few years.
You might not be surprised to hear that it’s turned into a really popular payment option.
Near Field Communication (NFC) is one of the most widely used contactless payment technologies.
In this article, you’ll learn what this technology is, how to accept NFC mobile payments in your small business, and everything else you need to know.
Let’s dive in!
What is Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology?
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a technology that allows two devices to wirelessly communicate with each other when they are in very close proximity. NFC evolved out of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which has been in use for decades.
You might be familiar with this technology – it’s the same technology used for things like inventory tracking in warehouses, and wireless door keys for hotels and offices.
RFID – and later NFC – started being used for payments throughout the 2000s and 2010s.
How do NFC Mobile Payments Work?
Accepting NFC mobile payments is a straightforward process, as long as your business’s payment terminal and the customer’s payment device are both NFC-enabled. Smartphones and smartwatches are the most common NFC-enabled payment devices used by customers.
Here is how NFC mobile payments work:
- The business presents the customer with the payment amount, typically displayed on a credit card terminal or point of sale system.
- The customer verifies if the payment amount is correct by double checking the display.
- The customer taps or hovers their device near the payment terminal. A sound or buzz indicates successful contact.
- Wireless contact between both devices is established, and encrypted data is exchanged to complete the transaction.
Benefits of Accepting NFC Mobile Payments
Accepting NFC mobile payments provides several benefits to both your business and your customers.
- It’s secure. Data is transmitted in a safe way, protecting both your business and your customers from payments fraud.
- It does not require a physical card to be present. As long as the customer’s mobile wallet is set up, it’s possible for them to pay using this technology.
- It’s fast. The process typically takes less than five seconds, which is faster than swiping a card. This saves time and reduces waiting times.
- It’s convenient and improves the customer experience. People are used to doing everything with their phones, and a seamless payment process provides a positive experience.
- It’s sanitary. After the COVID-19 pandemic, people are much more conscious about health and safety, and might appreciate being able to pay without touching a public surface.
Is it Safe to Accept NFC Mobile Payments?
The short answer is yes.
Here are the reasons why:
- NFC mobile payments are encrypted and tokenized, which means that data for every transaction is used only once and is only readable and decipherable by the payment device and the point of sale system.
- A physical credit card is not required, eliminating the risk of theft.
- To execute an NFC mobile payment, devices have to be within inches of each other, which increases the safety of this payment method. That’s because – even if interception were possible – a scammer would need to physically be very close to the payment device.
- Most modern smartphones have secondary verification features such as facial recognition, fingerprints, and PIN codes. This prevents anyone other than the verified owner of the device from making payments.
Add it all up, and NFC mobile payments are really safe!
And here’s one more safety measure: make sure you are PCI compliant (we can help with this).
Credit Card Terminals That Support NFC Mobile Payments
Most modern credit card terminals are NFC-enabled and support mobile payments. Check out Gravity Payments’ selection of NFC-enabled credit card terminals
Some of our popular terminals that support this technology include:
- Clover Flex Gen 3: a modern all-in-one wireless credit card terminal with an embedded NFC reader, fully Wi-Fi capable. Ideal for day-to-day use in retail stores and brick and mortar businesses.
- Clover Station Duo Gen 2: an advanced point of sale system with full integration capabilities. Ideal for large retailers and restaurants with advanced inventory management and reporting features.
- PAX A80 Countertop: a reliable and cost-effective payment terminal powered by Android. Can be used as a countertop terminal and wireless.
If you are considering a Clover terminal, check out our Clover service plans to help you decide which device best suits your needs.
Popular Ways to Pay Using NFC
Contactless payments are possible with most modern smartphones and smartwatches. You just need to install and configure a mobile wallet.
Many smartphones have default mobile wallets installed, such as Apple Pay for Apple devices, Samsung Pay for Samsung devices, and Google Pay for Android devices.
Other mobile wallets that allow NFC payments are PayPal, Zelle, and Venmo. These need to be used in combination with an NFC-enabled smartphone.
NFC Mobile Payments Examples
Accepting NFC mobile payments is extra-important if you do a lot of transactions. That’s because saving a few seconds on each transaction really adds up – which shortens lines and improves the customer experience.
A retailer that does a high volume of transactions is another type of business that needs NFC mobile payments.
But as people get used to paying with mobile wallets, they are likely to start expecting the availability of this payment method everywhere they go.
So – regardless of your type of business – it’s a good idea to consider accepting contactless payments.
Get Started with Gravity Payments
Accepting NFC mobile payments in your small business means you are well positioned for the future.
With Gravity Payments, you can start accepting NFC mobile payments right now – our merchant services include this payment option.
Not sure which payment device best suits your needs, or still have more questions? The team at Gravity Payments can help – contact us here.