In the recent times, advancements in mobile technology have been astounding. What is more stunning is the rate at which these developments have occurred. From what used to be a handheld device that enabled talking and texting, mobile phones today can perform numerous tasks that require high levels of artificial intelligence. One of the most amazing developments in mobile technology is the NFC or Near Field Communication. This technology converts your mobile phone into your virtual credit or debit card. The uses and functionality of the technology are immense. NFC has definitely made payments via mobile phones faster, easier and safer. In doing so, it has set the foundation to substitute conventional credit and debit cards.
What is NFC?
NFC is a wireless communication technology, which allows users to simply wave or tap their phones over another NFC enabled device to exchange any desired information. This technology also enables shoppers to make payments through their mobile phones by simply bringing the phone within 10 centimetres of a hardware device used for accounting. The technology makes use of electromagnetic radio fields to transfer data from your phone to the computer. All you have to do to transfer data is wave your phone in front of the store accountant’s computer. In order to work, both the devices involved in the data transfer need to be equipped with NFC.
But tapping technology already exists!
Even before the launch of NFC technology, it was possible for users to use their new generation credit cards simply by tapping to pay. However, NFC is one step ahead because the system is much faster and more convenient. For one, you don’t have to carry separate credit or debit cards with you. So, even if you have forgotten your wallet at home, no need to worry, you can make transactions simply by using your NFC enabled smartphone.
Security: a legitimate but unnecessary concern
When you have a technology that enables you to make payments simply by waving your phone, one of the first things that come to mind is – how secure is it? What if I lose my phone? Will someone else be able to wave the phone and shop on my money?
The concern is definitely legitimate but unfounded. NFC comes with multi-layered security system that stores all your financial data in an encrypted form. The data is not actually stored on the phone’s software, but on a tiny piece of hardware embedded into the phone. Additionally, in order to access the encrypted details you need to enter a secret PIN known only to you. In case you lose your phone, you can deactivate your accounts immediately. In other words, if you lose your mobile do exactly what you would do if you had lost your real wallet.
The functionality of NFC extends much beyond simply making payments. The technology is infused with several interesting features that allow you to keep track of your loyalty points, store coupons and discount vouchers. So, when you go shopping, you can simply wave your phone for the coupons to get activated. Furthermore, you can also store boarding passes and tickets on your mobile phone. NFC also allows you to share information including multimedia files with your online community.
Near Field Communication is definitely the future of mobile-based money transfers.
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