Top NFC Payment Apps For Contactless Transactions
22 Dec. 2017 Mobile App
Near Field Communication Apps – 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).
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 application development services 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:
- Android Pay
Android Pay is one of the most popular digital wallets. Anyone who has the app on Android smartphone can pay with a simple tap against a point of sale terminal that has near-field communication or NFC. The list of countries to support Android Pay has grown in the last two years. There are many vendors and companies like PayPal that have teamed up with Android Pay to make use of the touch and pay app functionality. In fact, many retailers are now providing customized tap and pay apps for their customers.
Read how Rishabh Software helped its client with an NFC Payment App built for Android based Point of Sale device.
- Apple Pay
Apple Pay is again a widely popular NFC payment option from the Apple ecosystem that lets iOS device owners make purchases with major retailers or via in-app purchases. It uses the same principle of contact-less technology that works for short distances. If your iOS device is switched on in a store, and it can detect the NFC field, it will offer your default card for payment after verification. To send payment information, users need to authenticate the purchase using Touch ID or passcode. No payment information can be shared without this authentication. This service is also available for Apple Watch where users can double-click the side button on a locked device to activate the default card for purchase.
Once you have authenticated the payment, your device account number and a transaction-specific dynamic security code are provided to the Secure Element. This information is required along with additional details to fulfil the transaction at the retailer’s point of sale terminal.
- Samsung Pay
Rivalling Android Pay and Apple Pay is Samsung Pay – which makes use of near-field communication technology to process payments at tap-to-pay terminals. However, Samsung Pay also offers compatibility with all other magnetic stripe terminals. The service lets you pay for goods and services quite easily by waving your Samsung device near a cash register instead of swiping a credit card or supplying your payment information. The payment platform works with Samsung galaxy range of devices – so it will work with all compatible phones and tablets and sometimes Gear S3 smartwatch depending on the region. Like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay too uses biometric authentication and authorization to process the contactless payment.
- Visa payWave
It is again a popular choice when it comes to contactless payment technologies. Visa payWave allows users to pay by simply waving their card over a secure reader. There is no need to insert or swipe your card. The payment is then authorized, processed and billed in a secured way. All you need to ensure is that your bank participates in the Visa payWave for mobile service and that you have the relevant NFC payment app on your phone.
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 the UK. Currently, it supports 20+ merchants on the ground and online, promising more merchants to come.
- MasterCard PayPass
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.
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 has multi-platform app development teams that can help you develop and integrate NFC mobile payment solutions across platforms.