Top 5 NFC Payment Apps
06 Aug. 2014 Mobile App
Near Field Communication – NFC payment apps are widely used today in the retail industry. NFC is simply a method of contactless communication of data between devices in close proximity and this technology has already been adopted in Europe, Asia and gaining popularity in North America. The NFC technology provides a secure architecture and compatible framework for application vendors to harness the technology for mobile payment capabilities (e.g. peer-to-peer money exchange).
Check our recent case study about NFC Payment App built for Android based Point of Sale device.
How does NFC work?
NFC is built upon RFID systems by allowing two-way communication between endpoints, where earlier systems such as contactless smart cards were one-way only. It has been used in devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, named with a feature called “Android Beam” which was first introduced in Google Nexus.
To process NFC mobile payments, Android Beam uses NFC to enable Bluetooth on both devices, instantly pair them and disable Bluetooth automatically on both devices once the desired transaction is completed. It has also been used in Samsung Galaxy devices with the feature named as S-Beam.
Read also: How developing a secure mobile app for payments using NFC or any technologies is possible by partnering with an experienced mobile development company.
Best NFC Payment Apps in the market today
Currently, there are several NFC compatible smartphones such as Google’s Nexus Series, Samsung’s Galaxy Series, and the iPhone. Several companies are currently onboard in leveraging this technology:
A secure mobile wallet app for credit card information and facilitating NFC transactions. Instead of tapping your credit card on the NFC machine at the checkout counter, all you have to do is wave your smartphone or tap it on the machine to make your payments. It’ll be able to identify the credit card information linked on your Google account.
Link your debit or credit card to your Google account and you can leave your wallet at home – but at the moment, it only works with phones and credit cards from the US and only in the US. Currently, it supports 20+ merchants on the ground and online, promising more merchants to come.
A contactless payment service (also supported by Google Wallet). MasterCard PayPass is a “contactless” NFC payment app that has features similar to American Express’s ExpressPay, and Visa’s payWave. PayPass is based on the ISO/IEC 14443 standard that provides cardholders with a simpler way to pay by tapping a payment card or other payment device, such as a phone or key fob, on a point-of-sale terminal reader rather than swiping or inserting a card. PayPass can currently be used on transactions up to and including £20 GBP, $50 USD, $100 CAD or AUD.
A contactless payment service. Visa payWave is a convenient NFC mobile payment app that lets you pay with your card or mobile device by simply waving it over a secure reader instead of inserting or swiping your card. The payment process will be authorized, processed and billed in a secure way. All you need to do is check that your bank is participating in Visa payWave for mobile and that you have downloaded the NFC payment app to your phone, wave it and go.
A “bump” method to transfer money or make payments between users. Paypal is another famous NFC mobile payment service that can send money between other PayPal users and friends. Available for both iOS and Android, you can easily send money to other users just like you would on the PayPal website. It also allows you to view your past transactions in detail. PayPal is also entering mobile payments via a card reader with the PayPal Here app.
Square wallet is one of the widely used mobile wallet app, available on iOS and Android. You can easily link your credit card to the app, but instead of paying directly with the credit card, it requires the use of merchant cards which is why Square works only with its own list of merchants. As it is location based, the store easily knows that you’re ordering something and will charge it to the card linked on your Square account.
It features Hands-Free Checkout as well where you ‘favorite’ the merchant and all you have to do is say your name at checkout. As you visit these stores, you can also earn rewards and discounts on your next visit. You can also purchase in-store gift vouchers to be sent to other Square users.
The demand for NFC payment apps is growing by the day, as more buyers and merchants are realizing the benefits from them. With the help of technological advancements and a keen interest in the NFC mobile payment marketplace, development of NFC payment apps is becoming a popular choice for mobile payments.
Rishabh Software is a trusted solution provider in developing and integrating NFC mobile payment solution for native and cross-platform mobile apps for the enterprise.