The NFC Forum, responsible for establishing standards for near field communications (NFC), has outlined upcoming initiatives and changes that could enhance the experience of using Apple Pay and Google Pay. Currently, these payment methods require users to place their compatible devices very close to a point of sale (POS) terminal, within a range of 5mm or .2 inches. However, the NFC Forum aims to extend this range significantly, expanding it to four to six times the current distance. This would enable transactions to be completed without directly tapping the POS terminal, making the process faster and reducing failed attempts. Moreover, a wider NFC range would alleviate the need for precise antenna placement on the terminal.
Additionally, the NFC Forum intends to increase the wireless charging specification of NFC technology from 1 watt to 3 watts. This enhancement would enable wireless charging capabilities for new and smaller devices, although specific examples were not provided in the blog post.
Another improvement highlighted by the NFC Forum is the possibility of validating and verifying tickets for an entire family with a single tap, which could simplify processes for transit firms or venues. The NFC technology would support multiple actions with one tap, including point-to-point receipt delivery, loyalty identification, and total-journey ticketing. For instance, a group of ticket holders attending a concert could enter the venue more efficiently, eliminating the need for each person to present an individual ticket.
To ensure the realization of these initiatives and others within the next two to five years, the NFC Forum plans to collaborate with its 400 members and industry groups to align everyone’s efforts.
Apple, Google, Sony and other big name tech firms are members of the NFC Forum
Mike McCamon, Executive Director of the NFC Forum, expressed his appreciation for the remarkable growth of NFC technology, attributing it to the forward-thinking mindset and unwavering commitment to innovation demonstrated by the forum’s members. According to McCamon, the evolving standards of the NFC Forum enable business-line managers and product designers to create new and captivating products and services that will be well-received by customers.
McCamon also highlighted the potential impact of NFC technology in various aspects of our daily lives, including payment transactions, brand engagement, device functionality, and access to sustainable products and services. The NFC Forum’s member roster includes prominent tech companies such as Apple, Google, Huawei, Infineon, NXP, Qualcomm, Sony, and STMicroelectronics.
When utilizing Apple Pay and Google Pay, users are required to link a credit card to their respective virtual wallets on iOS or Android devices. This linked card is charged when using either mobile payment service. If multiple cards are stored in the virtual wallet, users have the flexibility to switch between cards for specific transactions.
Apple introduced NFC to its iPhone lineup with the iPhone 6 series in 2014, while Android devices have supported NFC since the release of the first Android phone, the HTC Dream (known as the T-Mobile G1 in the U.S.), in 2008.