Agents, Merchants

NFC and EMV FAQ

What is the connection between EMV adoption and Near Field Communications (NFC) mobile payments?

NFC is the two-way communication between a smart phone and a smart EMV terminal. NFC-enabled mobile devices are used to accept mobile contactless payments, as well as for other mobile applications, like mobile coupons and loyalty programs. Customers using applications such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet simply activate their app, plug in the necessary information for the payment, and hold their phone over the EMV terminal to make a payment.

This is technically considered different from contactless transactions. In NFC transactions the chip card is not actually present, but the information is stored and used through the smartphone, whereas in contactless transactions the chip card is present and it is either tapped or waved over the EMV terminal to make the payment.

Regardless of the differences, the principle for NFC and contactless payments is essentially the same: the chip card is not inserted into the EMV terminal nor is it swiped, but a quicker method is used to process the transaction. Both NFC and contactless transactions can help negate the new processing delay and limit the amount of cards left at the checkout counter.