Apple's newest iPhone model, the iPhone 6, comes equipped with near field communication (NFC) technology, which allows for contactless mobile payments. In contrast, previous iPhone models like the iPhone 5 lack this feature. The addition of NFC to the iPhone 6 provides several key benefits for mobile payments, especially in point-of-sale (POS) transactions, while reducing security risks associated with traditional POS systems.
NFC stands for near field communication. It is a short-range wireless connectivity standard that enables communication between devices that are in close proximity, usually less than 4 inches.
NFC utilizes electromagnetic radio fields to enable two-way communication between devices. This allows NFC-equipped devices, like the iPhone 6, to securely transmit payment data when tapped against an NFC-enabled payment terminal.
NFC payments are considered more secure than traditional credit card swiping because the payment card details are not exposed. With NFC payments, each transaction uses a unique cryptogram that cannot be reused. This protects against data theft and replication that can occur with the outdated magnetic stripe technology used on traditional POS systems.Vulnerabilities of Magnetic Stripe Cards
Beyond enhanced security, NFC-enabled mobile payments on iPhone 6 provide several other benefits:Convenience
Unlike the iPhone 6, the iPhone 5 and older iPhone models do not have NFC chips built in. This prevents them from being able to make contactless payments at NFC-equipped terminals. iPhone 5 users are stuck with the traditional card swiping method, exposing them to greater security risks.
Without NFC, payment card details are exposed on every transaction with an iPhone 5. This makes the static card data more susceptible to theft.
The iPhone 5 cannot generate dynamic cryptograms, so the same card data is transmitted repeatedly, allowing for duplication if hacked.
Swiping cards is less convenient than tap-to-pay. iPhone 5 users must carry cards, swipe, sign receipts, etc.
The NFC capabilities on iPhone 6 provide substantial security improvements for point-of-sale mobile payments compared to relying on magnetic stripe card transactions. The unique cryptogram with each NFC payment prevents fraud in the event payment card data is compromised. NFC transactions are also faster and more convenient for consumers, since tapping a phone is easier than swiping a card.Vulnerabilities of POS Systems
NFC technology on the iPhone 6 enables mobile payments that are significantly more secure than traditional magnetic stripe credit card transactions. NFC allows for secure transmission of payment credentials and generation of unique data for each transaction. This prevents fraud in the event payment card details are stolen. With NFC, iPhone 6 users can pay quickly and conveniently while being protected against data theft and replication. The risks associated with POS systems are greatly reduced.
The addition of NFC to the iPhone 6 was a major advancement for mobile payments. NFC allows for tap-to-pay functionality that is faster and more secure than traditional magnetic stripe credit card transactions. Each NFC payment transmits token-based data and utilizes a one-time cryptogram to protect sensitive financial information. This prevents fraud in the event of a data breach and safeguards iPhone users during transactions at NFC-enabled POS systems. Overall, the iPhone 6's NFC capabilities reduce many of the security risks associated with payment card usage through vulnerable POS systems. For consumers seeking both convenience and security in mobile payments, the iPhone 6 is the clear choice over previous iPhone models lacking NFC.
What are the security benefits of NFC payments?
NFC payments are more secure than magnetic stripe transactions because they use tokenization to avoid transmitting actual payment card details. Each NFC transaction also utilizes a unique cryptogram that cannot be reused if stolen. This prevents fraud in the event of a data breach.
Can I use an iPhone 5 for contactless payments?
No. Only the iPhone 6 and newer iPhone models contain built-in NFC chips required for contactless payments. The iPhone 5 lacks NFC functionality.
Are NFC mobile payments faster than swiping cards?
Yes. NFC payments allow for quick and easy tap-to-pay functionality which is faster than swiping cards and signing paper receipts. The streamlined process increases convenience for consumers.
Where can I use NFC mobile payments?
NFC payments are accepted at hundreds of thousands of retail locations with enabled terminals. Payment apps like Apple Pay work at most major stores including grocery stores, pharmacies, clothing retailers, gas stations and restaurants.
Do I need to carry my physical credit cards if I have NFC payments on my phone?
No. With the tap-to-pay functionality on iPhone 6, you do not need to carry your physical credit and debit cards. All payment card information is stored securely on your device.