What is an NFC Payment?

Man waving smartphone over near field communication terminal in bakery

Your customers expect payment options when they shop for goods or services. With alternative in-store payment solutions from First Data, you can meet the demands of your customers, as well as the needs of your business. Enrich your credit card processing platform with technology that enables you to accept NFC payments from mobile phones, wearable devices, and contactless cards.

Short for “near field communication”, NFC technology allows two devices within close proximity – such as a smartphone and a payment terminal – to wirelessly transfer data between each other. This is similar to Bluetooth®, but NFC technology uses less power and only works over shorter distances – basically no more than a couple inches. Your customers can securely send their credit or debit card information to your terminal without any physical contact.

The Basics of an NFC Payment

NFC powers the technology behind mobile wallets like Apple PayTM, Samsung Pay, and Google PayTM, but the capabilities don’t stop there. Nowadays, consumers can use their fitness trackers and watches to make NFC payments. Vacation-goers can pay for meals or souvenirs with wristbands. And, if the contactless symbol is present on your physical credit or debit card, you no longer have to swipe or dip to complete your purchase.

How an NFC Payment Works

Customers will know your business accepts near field communication payments if they see the contactless symbol displayed on your credit card terminal or card reader. Just as if he or she were to open their physical wallet or purse, the customer must open the NFC payment app on the smartphone or wearable device and select the payment method to be used, whether that is a credit card, debit card, or even a gift card.

Once payment type is selected, the customer simply waves or taps their device over the NFC-enabled terminal to complete the transaction. This initiates an electromagnetic induction link between the device and the terminal. Instead of transferring account numbers, card details are encrypted in the mobile wallet and a secure element chip provides a unique digital signature for each individual purchase. The element verification is similar to the validation process commonly associated with chip-enabled EMV credit cards.

If a customer chooses to use a physical contactless card, the only difference is that they actually have to take the card out of their wallet or purse. First Data offers a complete line of NFC-enabled devices for secure, contactless payments.

Services that tie to NFC Payments

Whether your customers want to use mobile wallets or contactless credit or debit cards, First Data’s PCI-compliant near field communication payment solutions help you maintain a competitive edge and offer the convenience your customers need.

SourceConnectSM Trusted Service Management (TSM)

With SourceConnectSM, we help you turn an NFC-enabled device into a secure mobile wallet. Using our expertise in the NFC mobile payments ecosystem, we work with the network operators and smartphone and tablet manufacturers to establish the agreements and technical connections your business needs to deliver a timely and consistent mobile experience.

FD130 Terminal

The FD130 Terminal from First Data is an affordable solution that combines performance, reliability, and ease of use in a compact, feature-rich credit card machine that enables you to accept payments however your customers want to pay, including EMV chip transactions and NFC mobile payments.

Clover® Station

The Clover Station is an all-in-one point of sale system that can manage your entire business, from accepting payments to managing employees to tracking inventory. Accept all major card payment types — including magnetic stripe, EMV chip, and contactless NFC mobile payments — straight out of the box. Clover Station is compatible with a variety of accessories from barcode scanners to kitchen printers.

Clover® Mini

Although small in size, the Clover Mini packs a punch as a flexible POS system for any size business. Its extensive capabilities allow it to be as simple or as full-featured as your business needs. Offer customer convenience by accepting magnetic stripe, EMV chip, and contactless NFC payments, all without additional equipment or software. The Clover Mini has the ability to scale up functionality as your business grows.

Clover® Flex

Take payments, manage your inventory, and track sales all within the palm of your hand using Clover Flex. This small, but powerful, POS solution device offers built-in capabilities to help you serve customers better—whether at the counter, in line, at the table, or on the go. From magnetic stripe to chip cards to NFC mobile payments, accept all major card payment types on this handy device and email the receipt right to your customers.

Clover® Go

The Clover Go mobile payment solution allows merchants to leverage NFC payments directly through your mobile device. Clover Go only requires an Android or iOS app and a Bluetooth® connection that pairs with your smartphone or tablet. The minimalist mPOS system, works right out of the box so you can begin accepting NFC payments wherever your business takes you.

Why Do You Need NFC Payments?

Today’s consumers desire a frictionless purchasing experience from start to finish. With NFC-enabled equipment, speedier payments plus shorter lines equals more sales by the hour. Couple that with enhanced security – tokenization, multi-factor authentication, and no contact with card – and you offer your clients an attractive payment method. You can even bring loyalty programs and other value-added services to your customers with smart-tap NFC messaging. Get started with a near field communication payment solution for your small business or large business. Our professional team is here to assist you!