With commerce, mobile and payment technology all evolving at record pace the term NFC is one that will be mentioned at length (especially since it’s the technology that powers Apple Pay and Android Pay). To help you understand what the fuss is about, we will breakdown some important facts about NFC:

  • NFC stand for Near Field Communication (not to be confused with New York Fried Chicken...)
  • NFC is sometimes viewed as an extension of RFID that allows two devices, both equipped with NFC chips and placed within a couple inches of each other, to exchange data
  • As a technology, NFC uses significantly less power than comparable technologies like Bluetooth. In fact, unlike Bluetooth, with NFC there is no pairing of devices needed
  • To complete a transaction using NFC:
    • As a customer you’ll need an NFC enabled device
    • As a merchant you’ll also need an NFC enabled device (look for a symbol like this on the payment terminal)


Due to the EMV liability shift merchants are swapping their “feature” terminals out for smarter payment terminals. As this change occurs, the ability to accept mobile payments will only increase. Combined with carriers pre-installing mobile payment apps on their devices and phone manufacturers are enabling their phones with the technology to comply, NFC finally appears poised for lift off.