The latest generation of smartphones include the NFC technology, acronym for Near Field Communication, literally close communication.

Through it, it is possible to put in contact two different devices, both equipped with NFC. This technology could not work without the wireless connectivity, through which the two devices can exchange information of any kind, such as the most common multimedia files.

NFC connectivity is also widely used for electronic payments, which will occupy the main part of the guide on how NFC technology works, both through an Android smartphone and an iOS device (iPhone).

Android Pay

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Android Pay is among the first applications for electronic payments using the NFC technology of the smartphone and contactless card. You do not need to have a specific model of phone, it is enough that you have a cell phone with Android operating system.

Once the application is downloaded and installed, you must register your prepaid / debit card. Registration can also be done simply by taking a photo of the card, which will be recognized automatically by the application.

Once you have completed contactless card registration, you have everything you need to make your first payment with NFC technology. At the time of purchase, bring the smartphone to the POS of the merchant and complete the recognition by entering the PIN or fingerprint (depending on the smartphone at your disposal).

Samsung Pay

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If you have a Samsung smartphone and want to take advantage of NFC technology for electronic payments, you can count on the Samsung Pay application.

Arrived later than other similar apps such as Google Wallet and Android Pay, the official Samsung Pay application is intended exclusively for those who have a phone from the well-known South Korean company.

The first phones to be compatible with the app for electronic payment are the models Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Se Edge + and Note 5. The latest smartphones of the Asian house (Samsung S9) have Samsung Pay already integrated.

If you do not find Samsung Pay in your phone’s factory applications, download it using the Google Store. Once the download is complete, open the app and associate your card (prepaid, debit or credit card). The registration of the card takes place with the same procedure that you have already had the opportunity to learn in the previous paragraph, dedicated to the Android Pay application.

In the same way the payment: it is sufficient to bring the phone to the POS and complete the transaction identifying you through the method you chose previously: fingerprint, facial recognition, PIN.

Apple Pay

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If, you have an iPhone, NFC technology for electronic payments can be used by downloading the Apple Pay application. Almost all the devices of the bitten apple have the possibility to use the app, except for the following models: iPhone 5S, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and earlier.

Compatibility with Apple Pay is ensured by the iPhone 6 model forward, up to the most modern iPhone X.

The first thing you need to do is download the application if it is not already pre-installed. The second step is the registration of the contactless card. As seen for Android smartphones, you simply need to photograph the card so that the application recognizes it and stores it. Remember that you can associate one or more cards. You can, in fact, have the need for example to register a credit card, a debit card and a loyalty card.

When paying with NFC technology, you just need to put your finger on Touch Id (the fingerprint reader of the iPhone), and then bring the device to the POS. Wait a few seconds now, until you see your card on the phone display and then Finish, which tells you about the success of the transaction. Depending on your bank, you may soon receive a message confirming that payment has been made.

Verify that your bank is a partner

Sometimes, having NFC technology in your smartphone and a contactless card like this may be insufficient to make an electronic payment. In fact, not all banks have joined the forms of payment that take advantage of the NFC mode (the best known are the already mentioned Apple Pay and Samsung Pay). As for the Samsung Pay app, the participating banks are as follows: Mediolanum, Intesa San Paolo, Unicredit, BNL, Chebanca !, Hello bank! and Nexi.

If you use Apple Pay for your electronic payments based on NFC connectivity, the partner banks are: Banca Mediolanum, Buddybank, Carrefour Bank, Cooperative Credit Bank, Cassa Centrale, Trasse Rural Trentine, Fineco, Credit Agricole, Nexi, Unicredit, Widiba, Sparkasse Savings Bank.

Other uses of NFC technology

The NFC technology allows automatic recognition between two devices that are equipped with both of these systems. This guarantees a faster and more intuitive passage of information than was previously the case with Bluetooth. Often, NFC finds immediate use in sharing or transferring files – be they documents, photos or contacts – from one device to another.

Simply activate the NFC option on your smartphone and the one where you want to send, for example, your last photo, and bring the two devices closer together. In a few moments and in a completely automatic mode the image transfer begins.

Furthermore, NFC technology can also be exploited on two apparently incompatible devices. This is the case with a digital camera and a printer. The basic requirement is that both are equipped with the NFC chip. Approaching the camera to a compatible printer, you can immediately print the photo you want, taking advantage of the technology mentioned above.

We also talked about the NFC technology in this other article, especially on Android devices.