Definition | NFC – Communication in the near field – Near Field Communication, definition NFC – Computer Dictionary – Xyoos

NFC Definition

Your phone, bank card and headphones are most certainly compatible with NFC (Near Field Communication). But do you know how this technology works, and especially what it is used for ? Explanation !

NFC: What is it ?

Google Wallet, the contactless payment system using a mobile phone, which therefore uses NFC. The user must approach his phone from the terminal and compose his code. © Google

Image of the Futura Sciences site

The NFC (Near Field Communication, Either communication in the near field) is a very short distance radio telecommunications technique, typically a few centimeters. It includes the standards used for RFID RFID (passive) chips adapted for communication between two active components.

Not yet generalized, it should in particular be used on mobiles equipped with NFC chips to pay small purchases (electronic wallet function).

NFC Definition

  • Language :
  • Gender :
  • Translation: close -up communication
  • Advanced level

NFC means “Near Field Communication”, or more precisely communication in the near field. This tool integrated into your smartphone allows you to discuss personal data quickly and securely with other equipped tools. It is this chip that allows payment by smartphone.

NFC is a technology that allows information to be exchanged as some chip cards or access badges are already doing.

Smartphones and tablets equipped with the NFC can therefore turn into access or payment tools for certain equipment (for example: contactless payment, access to public transport, etc.))

Not all infrastructure has this technology: its implementation is recent and requires a more substantial deployment.

NCF technology already teams our credit cards for contactless payment

NFC: What is it, how it works and what is it for ?

Your phone, bank card and headphones are most certainly compatible with NFC (Near Field Communication). But do you know how this technology works, and especially what it is used for ? Explanation !

NFC, or Near Field Communication, is a technology to exchange data between a reader and any compatible mobile terminal or between the terminals themselves. This is the technology used by your bank card for contactless payment, or your transport card. The advantage of this technology is that in principle, no application is required. Just bring the two supports together. Please note, these must not be too far from each other: a maximum of ten centimeters !

Note that for this article, we will prefer the basic acronym to that French, much less widespread – CCP for communication in near field.

Where the NFC is used ?

The NFC works thanks to a chip

which allows the exchange of information between two equipped devices. This can be between 2 phones, between a phone and a payment terminal or a speaker. This technology is used by manufacturers of contactless bank card. If your card is compatible, a small logo fairly close to that of Wi-Fi is present on it.

Before going further : Yes, Apple phones are equipped with NFC technology From the iPhone 6, but Apple obliges, the uses are very limited. In fact, the NFC chip only serves mobile payments thanks to Apple Pay.

With Android, we can do much more if this little chip is integrated into our smartphone.

Real applications can be divided into three main categories ::

  • Card emulation
  • Reader mode
  • The peer for data transfers (peer to peer))

In the first case, the phone in a way becomes a smart card. This is called “passive” mode. The phone sends information to the NFC receiver. The latter can be positioned in the doors of metro mouths or in a payment terminal. Thus, there are many uses: mobile payment, transport titles, coupons, tickets, etc.

The second category concerns tags, these small electronic labels which are sometimes present on panels in cities or at bus stops. Clearly, by passing your phone in front of these tags, you will collect practical information that will be displayed automatically on your phone. This kind of use looks like QR codes.

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Mobile payment

The best known use of the NFC is mobile payment. It’s a little revolution: Leave your bank cards in the dresser and pay with your phone. But then, how to proceed ?

You are lucky, we have written a file specially on this subject. Know all the same that many services offer these kinds of features, but that big players like Apple, Samsung and Google offer more complete and easier to use solutions.

The transport card (navigo, pastel, etc.))

Users of public transport in large cities are used to regularly validated their transport cards. These cards also use NFC technology, and the smartphone can therefore easily replace them, when the agglomeration service provides it.

Several transport networks have already launched on this subject. We were able to test the Navigo service in Île-de-France Mobilités with a Samsung smartphone. Tisséo also offers to replace the Pastel card of Toulousains on any Android smartphone with Easy ticket.

On the Apple side, the control exercised by the brand on the NFC function does not facilitate the adaptation of the transport services. As often, the firm intends to do things by itself and has already launched Apple Pay Transit in a handful of cities in the world (London, Chicago, Beijing, Shanghai, Moscow …).

Appairer an accessory

The NFC can be used to transfer connections of connections between a smartphone and an accessory. It has become common that Bluetooth helmets offer a mode of pairing by NFC, which makes it possible to avoid going through more tedious parameter menus.

Generally, simply place the NFC zone of the accessory directly on the back of the phone, a notification then appears on the smartphone to confirm the association between the two devices. It’s easier than passing the two devices in bluetooth pairing mode and confirming safety codes.

Send data with the NFC

Originally, the NFC on mobile above all allowed peer-to-peer transfer, that is to say to exchange data-files, photos, contacts-between two phones that have the NFC. From Android 4.0, smartphones use the native system of the system, Android Beam.

To exchange files, applications, photos or music between two tablets or smartphones, you will therefore use the NFC jointly with Android Beam. Just activate the NFC on both devices, open the file you want to share and stick the two back to back phones. A small noise and a vibration should confirm the success of the maneuver.

For a time, Samsung also offered its own function with S Beam, An extension of Android Beam. This technology used direct Wi-Fi to exchange files. This resulted in faster transfer speeds between the devices. S beam Today has disappeared, but it is always possible to exchange files in direct Wi-Fi on Samsung devices.

Where bluetooth is less practical than the NFC to pair two devices, it has the advantage of the flow: the NFC is not so made to transfer large files.

How to activate the NFC on your phone ?

Today, the vast majority of Android phones have an NFC chip, but should we still know how to activate it. For that, nothing very complicated, you have to go to the phone settings then click on “wireless and networks” or similar labile. This is where you can activate Android Beam and contactless payment.




Also note that most phones offer a shortcut to activate and deactivate the NFC directly from the notification panel.

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