You may not have heard of near field communication—or NFC—but you know the services that it makes possible. Near field communication is the technology that allows consumers to make payments with mobile wallet apps in their smartphones, as well as NFC-enabled credit and debit cards.
Near field communication is helping mobile wallets change the face of retail. In the US, adoption of mobile wallets has been relatively slow—consumer habits formed using plastic credit and debit cards. Today that’s changing:
- eMarketer estimates that over 61 million US consumers will make a mobile proximity payment in 2019
- Worldpay’s 2019 US Consumer Behavior Report found that 66% of US consumers believe that smartphones will replace cards as the primary payment method within the next five years
- Visa expects that more than 100 million Visa contactless cards to be issued in the US by the end of 2019
Near field communications is a technology that allows two NFC-enabled devices to communicate when held in close proximity to each other—typically about 4 centimeters. NFC technology makes payments possible when consumers “tap” their NFC-enabled smartphones or NFC-enabled cards on or near NFC payment acceptance devices.
Here are the top four benefits of adopting near field communication technology to accept contactless payments at your point of sale:
#1- Convenience and ease of use
Consumer expectations for convenience are always on the rise. In almost any situation consumers will typically flock to the fastest, easiest and most convenient option. Near field communications make payment transactions easy, as consumers often only need to hold up their phones or their NFC cards to make a payment. Unlike EMV transactions where consumers had to learn to dip, and wait, NFC-enabled smartphone payments are typically simple and intuitive.
What’s the one item that your customers typically have on them at all times? It’s their smartphone, of course. No wonder mobile wallets using near field communication are rising in popularity. For those who still prefer cards, NFC-enabled cards provide the same functionality in a convenient and familiar package.
#2 - Improved operational efficiency
Near field communication allows for faster transactions which cuts down on the amount of time customers have to wait in line as well as time spent at the register. NFC helps speed up checkout lines, increasing customer satisfaction with your business.
Near field communication means less time per transaction. That represents a critical operational efficiency for businesses that turn a high volume of transactions at checkout. Happier customers and more efficient operations are measured in the bottom lines of businesses everywhere.
#3 Ease of implementation
Near field communication technology is easy to implement. You’ll need NFC-enabled payment terminals, like credit card terminals or integrated point of sale systems. Fortunately, most new payment acceptance equipment sold today or in the recent past already contains near field communication technology built in. Setup is simple and quick.
Like anything regarding payments, you’ll want to work closely with your payment processor to make sure you’ve configured your equipment properly and your payment acceptance is set up to accept both contactless cards and mobile wallets. When you work with a leading payment partner like Worldpay, that part is easy, too.
#4 Enhanced security
If you’re wondering about the security of near field communications, that’s understandable. Maintaining the trust of your customers depends on providing safe transmission for their payments and any data related to payment transactions.
The security of near field communication technology starts with “near”—NFC signals only transmit data centimeters from the NFC device, like a payment terminal. Unlike wireless internet technology, near field communication signals can’t be hacked from across town, across the street or even across the room.
Security protections afforded by smartphones make NFC payments even more secure. In addition to the protections from tokenization of private and personally-identifying data, smartphones add an additional layer of personal authentication, like passwords and biometric security. All of this additional security is layered on top of existing fraud filters and other security measures, like EMV, that help protect all electronic payment transactions.
Worldpay is a leader in helping businesses implement near field communication technology to safely and conveniently accept contactless payments. Connect with one of our payment experts to learn more about how we can help protect your business with secure transactions that minimize fraud and reduce risk.