NFC credit cards are contactless cards that rely on NFC technology to allow cardholders a fast, trouble-free tap-to-pay experience at the point-of-sale.
NFC stands for near-field communication and is a technology that allows wireless transmission from the card to an NFC-enabled device. For the transaction to work, the cardholder can either wave or tap the card on the payment terminal and depending on the vendor can complete the purchase with a signature, a PIN, or without any other action. The distance for the communication between card and device to take place is at least 4 centimetres.
NFC is wireless and uses shortwave radio frequencies to transmit encrypted data. The cards have EMV chips with NFC technology and RFID antennas to communicate to the NFC-enabled device, which also has an RFID antenna.
NFC cards are easy to recognise as they sport an EMV Contactless Indicator on the back or the front. NFC-enabled devices have clearly-marked EMVCo Contactless Symbols
Skimming is a security concern when it comes to NFC credit cards, as fraudsters can steal the credit card number and its expiration date, however, these two alone are usually not enough to complete a transaction online. RFID-blocking wallets are enough to protect NFC cards against skimming. Besides, fraud on contactless cards and devices represents just 1.1% of overall card fraud,” according to the Financial Fraud Action UK.
Despite security concerns from consumers, NFC bank cards are growing in popularity. ABI Research expects NFC cards issuance to grow to 2.3 billion annually by 2022.
You will find NFC cards from all major brands, and it is up to you want to choose, depending on what extra benefits they offer. Visa NFC cards, MasterCard NFC cards, and so on are all as secure as standard EMV chip cards, as each transaction is encrypted and accompanied by a token that protects the payment information and the personal data of the cardholder.
NFC cardholders enjoy excellent benefits using this method of payment for their daily expenditures – like bus tickets, and other small payments. They can pay faster than using cash or simple EMV cards that require signature or PIN to complete the transaction. Many NFC cards have additional incentives like point and rewards to appeal to consumers.
NFC brings benefits for vendors, too, as they speed up the transaction at the POS and improve operations.
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