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Chip Cards give Mobile Wallets an Assist

The US transition to chip cards has loomed large in the payment world for the last few years. As a business owner, you probably weighed the costs and benefits of taking chip cards some time in 2015. As a consumer, it’s highly likely that your credit cards have already been re-issued with a shiny new chip on them. Amid all the buzz about the move to chip cards, another payment technology has been quietly gaining traction: near field communication, or NFC.

NFC is the short-range wireless technology that lets people tap and pay with a smartphone or a contactless credit card. Mobile wallets and credit cards with NFC have been around for years now, but they’ve always had one serious problem: not enough stores accepted them. Fortunately, the switch to chip cards in the United States is rapidly changing that. Businesses of all sizes have upgraded their payment equipment in the last two years to accept chip cards. As a side benefit, many of them also gained the ability to take NFC. If you purchased a chip card terminal from Wind River Financial, you might be able to accept NFC and not even know it.

Of the chip card terminals we’ve sold, over 70% also have the ability to accept NFC, and all of the models we sell today have the feature. Terminals with NFC can accept Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, and any other NFC mobile wallet. These wallet apps are fast and extremely secure, because they use a unique electronic “token” for each transaction. If a hacker were to steal a token from Apple Pay, for example, he wouldn’t be able to reuse that token for any fraudulent transactions. With their excellent security and so many stores now running NFC-capable terminals, mobile wallets are poised to explode in popularity.

If you have already upgraded to a chip card terminal, chances are you can take NFC transactions today. Some early chip card terminals didn’t have NFC built in, but it can be easily added with a peripheral. If you’re still on the fence about upgrading your equipment to accept chip cards, keep in mind that in addition to chip cards, you can accept Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, and contactless cards just by upgrading your machine.

If you have questions about NFC, new equipment, or anything else we can help you with, please call us at 800-704-7253, option 4.

3 comments

    • Nathan Wright says:

      Hi Elmer, I didn’t mention Samsung Pay in this post because it actually uses a different wireless technology. Instead of NFC, it uses Magnetic Secure Transmission (or MST). MST is different in that it sends data to a terminal’s magnetic card reader and tricks the card reader into thinking a card has been swiped. It works with nearly every kind of credit card reader out there, so regardless of when you purchased your terminal you should be able to accept Samsung Pay.

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