NEWS FLASH: Apple does care about near field communication after all

Apple Pay imageWhat a difference a year makes. Last year everyone (except us of course) was talking about how “Nobody F******* Cares about NFC And Apple Gets That.” NEWS FLASH: Apple does care after all. With the new Apple Pay service, iPhone 6 users can pay with a simple tap of their phones. This is huge. I mean really HUGE. Apple has entered the mobile commerce market with NFC, which means that NFC is here to stay.

In the coming days and months, everyone will want to know just what NFC is. At the NFC Bootcamp, we have been teaching people how to use NFC for the past three years. We were early proponents of the technology and have vast NFC experience to share.

For those of you who are just tuning in to NFC, here is a short primer.

NFC stands for near field communication. It is a communication protocol that allows two devices to transfer data to each other when they come in close contact (about is 2 inches). Apple is using the technology to facilitate the contactless payments at the heart of its mobile Apple Pay service.

The reason Apple is getting into mobile commerce now is that the United States is finally catching up to the rest of the world in deploying point of sale (POS) terminals that comply with EMV standards. These standards, also known as chip and pin, are credit card security standards that most of the world already uses.  In 2015, all U.S. merchants will need to upgrade to EMV point of sale terminals or they stand to lose fraud protection from the credit card companies.  And no merchant wants that.  Add to this the spate of current credit card security breaches and this “re-terminalization” effort will only be accelerated.

Why is this important and how does it affect NFC?  Well, all EMV-compliant POS terminals are NFC capable.

So Apple’s timing is perfect. They’re moving to NFC just in time for one of the biggest migrations in payment terminals that we have ever seen in the United States.

NFC can enable a host of other applications that Apple has elected not to support in the iPhone 6. Well, not yet anyway. I will explain more about that in my next blog.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about NFC, Apple Pay, mobile wallets, beacons, HCE and related topics, come to one of our NFC Bootcamps. We’re coming to a city near you soon.

About the Author:

Robert P. Sabella has 20+ years of legal and entrepreneurial experience and is considered one of the most innovative leaders in developing and bringing new technologies to market. He is the founder of the NFC Bootcamp™ training series and has recently co-founded the AccelerateNFC incubator program, dedicated to fostering start-ups in bringing NFC technology to the market. He is co-author of RFID+™ and a prolific writer and speaker on NFC and RFID.

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