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What is a Near Field Communication Chip?

A near field communication chip is a handy technological innovation that is changing the face of credit card processing for merchant accounts. In short, NFC is fast becoming a winning means of payment processing and advertising.

What It Is
Borne from the concept of radio frequency identification technology, the NFC is a wireless link for transferring minimal amounts of data between two devices held in near proximity to each other. Typically, the distance is a mere four centimeters. This shorter range is one way in which NFC differs from RFID. The other primary difference is that NFC is programmed for secure applications, including payments, via the embedment of a subscriber identity module. Conversely, RFID is used for very basic applications like the implantation of microchips by veterinarians in pets for identification information; there is little security capability in RFID.

Where It Is
Nearly everyone across the globe is attached to a cellphone today. As the ubiquity of mobile communication has grown, so has the depth of its versatility. New applications are being added to manufacturer’s products faster than one can keep track. Consumers are delighted and eager to try each new app. The more “magic tools” that are enclosed in their handy phones, the happier they are. The NFC chip is one such example. Familiarly known as the SIM card embedded in cellphones, it’s where a user’s secure data is stored at the ready for contactless interaction with an NFC terminal.

NFC In Action
In commercial enterprises, it isn’t that often that an innovation eases both the buyer’s and the seller’s loads equally. Consider a retail transaction utilizing the NFC solution:

* Customer enters store and selects goods
* Customer takes selected items to check-out counter
* Clerk rings up total of customer’s purchases
* Rather than a plastic card, customer holds mobile smartphone over point-of-sale terminal on counter
* Securely stored banking information from NFC on customer’s phone transfers to NFC chip in POS terminal
* Transaction concludes

NFC Benefits
Timesaving convenience in credit card processing with a high-level secure element is, perhaps, the most compelling reason to embrace NFC technology. Merchant accounts are instantly afforded an advantageous measure of fraud reduction; no involvement of paper receipts and penned signatures. An additional plus is the environmental impact that the absence of paper provides. In today’s fast-paced world, NFC offers a safe, quick and fun way to buy and sell.

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