NFC Forum’s Payment Solution Is Simpler, More Secure Than QR Code-Based Solutions

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – March 5, 2019 – The NFC Forum, the world’s leading standards and advocacy association for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, released its NFC Money Transfer Candidate Specification (NMT) today. NMT gives payment service providers and consumers the opportunity to take advantage of the simple and secure NFC-based payment solutions already in use worldwide as an alternative to QR code-based solutions.

The NMT solution improves the speed and efficiency of the payment process by eliminating the need for a camera or scanner used in QR code-based solutions.  It provides an open framework which can be easily used by payment service providers to map their already defined data exchange for QR code-based payment solutions with NFC communication.  The specification works between all NFC-enabled devices such as smartphones, readers and tags.

“The NFC Money Transfer Candidate Specification uses the intrinsic benefits of NFC technology – convenience, speed, security and usability – to create a better user experience for payments than QR codes,” said Paula Hunter, executive director, NFC Forum.  “With almost two billion NFC-enabled devices in use today, the majority of smartphone users around the world have NFC technology as a standard feature in the palm of their hand.”

The NFC Forum NMT will be available for payment systems worldwide and does not compete with other existing solutions, such as open loop and closed loop NFC-based payments.

Candidate specifications allow interested parties in the industry to review and provide input to the document before the specification is officially adopted and published by the NFC Forum. For more information or to comment on the specification, click here.

NFC Money Transfer Candidate Specification and QR codes

The NFC Money Transfer Candidate Specification improves the user experience compared to QR codes because it simplifies user operations and enhances security levels.  For example:

  • The NMT operates with a simple “tap” by holding the smartphone in proximity to a reader or other NFC-enabled device whereas a user needs to open a camera, target the camera and then scan a QR code.
  • The NMT allows a faster payment transaction without pre-selection of a payment app by the user as required by QR codes.
  • The NMT provides users with better security protections over QR codes as the operating distance of NFC makes it more difficult for attackers to record the data exchange for payment transactions compared to QR code-based solutions.

About the NFC Forum

The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum’s global member companies are currently developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability. Only member companies can participate in the Forum’s certification program of NFC devices, readers and tags.

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