What Are NFC Payments And How To Enable Them In Your Store

NFC Meaning And Usage

NFC is short for near field communication. It allows data sharing between devices placed over brief distances, for instance, between a reading terminal and a mobile phone or tablet. The distance between devices should be no more than two inches — this is its main difference from the usual Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Such a limitation is related to security. To reach the data, you have to get very close to the smartphone, which minimizes the chance of data theft as opposed to the situation when devices are placed at a greater distance.

NFC usage areas

How NFC Payment Works

NFC payment goes with no contact of devices. Also, the user does not need to carry the plastic around since the data is read from a virtual card copy stored in a mobile wallet. It is enough to keep the phone close to the banking equipment to accomplish a transaction. Note: both the payment and reader devices should have built-in NFC chips that share data in an encrypted format. The procedure takes no more than 1–2 seconds. Here is how the payment goes:

  1. The buyer holds the phone close to the merchant’s terminal
  2. The terminal scans the card data and sends it to the acquiring center.
  3. The acquiring center authorizes or cancels the operation.
  4. The user enters PIN or biometrics to confirm the transaction.
  5. The money is charged from the buyer’s account and debited to the seller’s account.

NFC Payment Security

NFC payment is considered highly secure. Of course, any protection can be hacked. However, NFC has several advantages that make it more reliable compared to other contactless technologies. Let’s review them in more detail.

NFC security

Accepting NFC Payments In Your Store

To accept contactless payments using NFC, you need to install a POS terminal with an NFC chip in your store. Usually, POS terminals are obtained from the bank where you have a corporate account. You can also purchase an NFC reader from your payment service provider. Besides, you should check if your provider has eWallet in the list of acceptable payment methods. Most of them support digital wallet payments, but some — not.

Choosing Payment Provider

If you are on your way to choose a payment gateway provider, here is a list of top companies that serve both online and offline stores. They support different payment methods, including NFC payments through the NFC-powered reader.


When Square first appeared, it offered software for offline shops. Now it is a full-featured financial service that provides online and offline stores with both software and hardware. Merchants opt for Square to quickly enable payment solutions and guarantee their customers a pleasant shopping experience.

Square NFC reader


PayPal is a large payment service provider that operates worldwide and serves big and small merchants in different countries. PayPal is worth considering, at least for its reputation and brand popularity. Seeing the PayPal logo, customers will treat you with greater trust, especially if they are not yet familiar with your company.

PayPal NFC reader


Shopify is an international e-commerce platform that serves more than 1 million merchants in almost 200 countries worldwide. Shopify provides customers with a full package of tools to run their business. Among other things, it includes software and hardware for accepting online and offline payments.

Shopify NFC reader

Grow Your Business With NFC

Non-contact payments are gaining popularity in offline stores. According to a Mastercard study, more than half of Americans use them regularly. During the Covid19 pandemic, this form of payment becomes hugely relevant because it excludes any contacts and reduces infection possibility. Given that a mobile wallet is the top-requested payment method, NFC technology has become an absolute necessity for a modern merchant.



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Softensy specializes in fintech development and enterprise-level apps. Our team helps companies automate business processes by developing software solutions.