Secure Authentication Using NFC, or Tap and Pay as it is more commonly known as, refers to the use of NFC tech in a smartphone to verify the authenticity of the owner. This process takes part when a consumer wishes to make a payment using their NFC capable phone at a retailer location with an enabled Point of Sale terminal.
A common misconception is that NFC can be used to make payments without the use of a PIN or password, but this is false. Whenever you are using an NFC enabled phone to authorize yourself at pay terminals, you are being authenticated by your mobile’s secure element which holds all of your payment cards. So whenever someone steals your smartphone containing your NFC capable SIM card, they will not be able to use it for Tap and Pay without first obtaining your PIN or password, so take care of your phone!
How can I enable Tap and Pay?
Good question! If you are looking to enable NFC on an Android powered device, all you need is to open up the Google Play Store (assuming that you have Google Play Services installed) on your device and search for “Secure Element” or some variant of that name.
Make sure that you are searching in the Google Play Store on the phone itself rather than using a web browser, otherwise it will not work. First install and open any one of these applications, then follow their prompts to enable NFC and add the applications that you want to use with Tap and Pay. This is essentially all there is to it! You will be able to start using your device for NFC transactions in no time!
What are the benefits of Tap and Pay?
Tap and Pay makes sending money through your phone via NFC technology much simpler than ever before. No longer do you have to worry about withdrawing cash from a bank, as it can simply be transferred electronically at any given time. All that you need is the appropriate NFC capable smartphone, which for those of you who do not know can easily be found by searching through your local wireless carrier’s website or site such as Amazon Wireless and Wirefly.com.
What is the downside of using Tap and Pay?
The main downside to this technology is that it has been thought to be difficult for people to use when standing in a retail store. Usually when standing at a register, your eyes are in direct contact with either a sales clerk or a monitor displaying what needs to be scanned next in order to complete the transaction. However if you are looking to use your smartphone during this process, it may be difficult for both yourself and those around you to see what is happening on the phone’s display.
How secure is Tap and Pay?
Tap and Pay, as stated previously, uses NFC technology in order to create a secure connection between the smartphone and the Point of Sale terminal. This connection is required whenever money is about to change hands, which means that without it, transactions cannot be completed.
The unique thing about this technology is its use of a secure enclave hosted on the device’s SIM card in order to create a one-time password for your transaction to authorize any purchases that you may wish to make. Once this number is generated, it then becomes encrypted and useless for other transactions that may try to reuse it.
With all of that said, Tap and Pay remains as one of the most secure ways to purchase items with your mobile device. There are many places where you can find more information on NFC technology if interested, some of which are listed below.