Kamis, 06 Februari 2014

NFC, a new system to pay via mobile phone

In a consumer society like ours, where smartphones have transformed our ways, firms and agencies begin to bet on a new technology: NFC, you can buy, pay and get information, among others, simply bringing a cell phone to a terminal.

In Spain, where there are more mobile devices than people, users are constantly connected to the network. Therefore, the large telecommunications companies working to bring to market innovative products that pose the same time, new business opportunities and greater convenience for consumers. An example is the Near Field Communication technology (Near Field Communication or NFC for short) that allows to speed up payments low amounts. It is, in short, to facilitate customer consumption and also to increase business operations.

What is it? NFC is a short-range wireless system, similar to the Bluetooth, that allows transmission of data between electronic devices. It is an alternative to traditional payment methods (cash or credit card) which involves making contactless payments through mobile phone.
How NFC system works and what it is used?

This technique, which uses the principles of radio frequency identification technology (RFID, for its acronym in English), is completely safe. Communication is possible only when the two NFC devices, smart tags, are at a distance less than 10 centimeters, so that the possibility that another signal capturing terminal is quite difficult.

Besides being able to make payments, there are several utilities that this system provides. Some of the most interesting are:

Buy tickets for different modes of transport.
Get product information or events through the so-called smart posters.
Spend a photo wirelessly to a TV or printer without requiring any configuration.
Control access entry in concerts, festivals or any event crowded.
Share business cards with other NFC phones.
Exchanging data with other devices or files.

These and other NFC mobile applications are available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.
Implementation in Spain

Although NFC technology first developed in 2002 in a joint project between the companies Philips and Sony, has not been massively deployed in our country, because the installation of NFC tags on smartphones is still be a slow process and expensive.

But I have taken some steps, Renfe and Vodafone, for example, are some of the companies that have begun to introduce this technology in Spain. Late last year, the two companies signed an agreement by which it was possible to make payment of bills through the mobile phone. The railway operator 300 lathes adapted suburban network of the Community of Madrid to allow payment, or any other operation, an NFC device to another, equipped with the same technology. In addition, several banks in our country (Banco Santander, BBVA, La Caixa, etc.), operators (Telefonica, Orange, Vodafone …), hypermarkets (Caprabo, Carrefour, for example) and companies such as MasterCard and Visa, also begin to offer its customers the ability to make payments (and other operations) using this system “contactless”.

The ignorance and the limited use of this system make certain mistrust still exists by users. However, many companies are aware of their progress and effectiveness, are pursuing major possiblities NFC because it provides convenience, immediacy and simplicity, as major advantages.

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