Albert Smith is Digital Marketing Manager at Hidden Brains, a leading Mobile & Web development company.
The trend of going cashless started with cards but as the world kept moving towards digitalization, mobile payment applications replaced cards. This trend was further catalyzed by 2020’s pandemic which demanded contactless payments and triggered a proliferation of NFC technology.
But it is not merely pandemic but the accumulation of cumulative factors which were responsible for the continual rise of digital wallets, some prominent reasons being:
Rise of ecommerce shopping
Need for simplified transactions
Support for multiple credit and debit cards along with multiple currencies
Maintenance of banking details in one single app
However, like any other technology, NFC mobile payment apps have also met with fair share of criticism and commendations. Some people have embraced this technology with open arms while others have hesitated to put their money at risk owing to the rising cases of cyber crimes and scams.
This article describes the top five NFC payment mobile apps, categorized for Android and non-Android users, which are safe enough to be used for quick cashless transactions.
In the simplest words, NFC is a technology that facilitates wireless communication between two electronic devices that are at a proximity of 4 cm. Its uses range from key cards and electronic ID cards to boarding passes and file sharing. But it continues to find maximum use in mobile payments.
NFC has proved to be a game-changing technology and has already impacted some key industries (namely hotels and transport) in terms of operations, data collection, and exchange of information. To reinforce security, NFC has been coupled with encryption technology and biometric verification.
As a wireless technology, it offers many advantages over Bluetooth, especially in the context of power consumption and security. NFC tags are considered better and safer for the transfer of sensitive information than Bluetooth or Wi-fi as these tags prevent theft of personal information or data.
Coming back to NFC payment apps, what comes next are the names of some premium mobile wallets that utilize this trending tech.
The search engine giant jumped on the bandwagon of mobile payment in 2011 when it was popular as Android Pay. But it gained wider recognition post-2018 when Android Pay and Google Wallet merged to become Google Pay or GPay.
Today it remains one of the most preferred apps for online transactions, especially among Android users. As a premium NFC payment Android app, it offers the following benefits:
Support for premium cards including MasterCard, Visa, and American Express
Person-to-person transactions (also known as P2P transfers)
Online payment and in-app payment facilities
Management of gift cards
Replacement of actual card numbers with virtual numbers for security
Its installation requires Android 5.0 or later versions. The only downside of GPay is that it does not offer buyer protection which means payment disputes will have to be settled between the user and the payment source.
Samsung Pay can be said to be an exclusive NFC payment Android app as it is supported by Samsung’s latest Galaxy series smartphones and Samsung smartwatches. Samsung Pay is the only digital payment application that lets users pay at non-NFC credit card terminals. To use it, one needs to have smartphones ranging from Galaxy S6 and above.
Some of its definite benefits are:
Easy payment with smartwatches
Compatible to work with credit card point-of-sale in more than 17 countries including US
Easy to set up
Options for cash account management
PIN verification required before final payment
The cons of this Android payment app include the absence of P2P transfer and mobile-only restrictions which means it cannot be accessed via web browser.
Apple has an iOS-everything for its users, then how can it miss out on NFC payment? If you’re a proud owner of iPhone 6 or later versions, chances are that Apple Pay already exists in your iOS. Though it has several outstanding features to talk about, its multiple layers of security are the ones to boast about.
Firstly, the user needs to set a TouchID, passcode or FaceID (for iPhone X and more). Secondly, the security has been further notched up by concealing real card details with anonymous digital tokens. Apart from the tight security, other advantages offered by Apple Pay are:
Though GPay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay continue to rule as top-rated NFC payment apps, PayPal remains a favorable choice for many, especially in places where Apple Pay still has to activate its services for iOS users. The good news is that iOS users can avail FaceID facility for activating PayPal which means that their first layer of security remains intact.
As an internationally recognized payment app, PayPal presents its users with the following benefits:
Buyer protection policy and seller protection policy for settlement of payment disputes
Support for online purchases and P2P transactions
Loyalty program management
Facility to receive government deposits like tax returns
The problem areas of PayPal include limited payment options for in-store purchases and a complex system for bill splitting.
For people who love to keep it simple, Cash App is sure to become their best app for NFC payment. Right from payments and transfers to Bitcoin trading and stock investment, Cash App acts as a one-for-all mobile wallet. Available for both Android and iOS, Cash App combines encryption technology along with other fraud detection technologies to maintain security. As a premium digital wallet, it provides users with the following advantages:
Simple and clean interface with easy setup process
Facility for Bitcoin and stock trading
Facility for automatic deposit of money into bank account
Provision for tax-filing
Hassle-free transaction process along with in-store payment feature
A big thumbs-down for Cash App is its limited regional availability which is restricted to the US and UK. Also, it offers a low limit for daily payments which is why PayPal still remains a preferred choice for non-Android users.
There’s no denying the fact that the pros of NFC payment apps outweigh their cons. As this niche market keeps growing, more and more enterprises will look forward to joining the NFC payment club. This indeed will present a custom android app development company (or any native app development company) with windows of opportunities.
The popularity of mobile payment apps can be deduced from numbers of a survey report by Business of Apps which revealed that revenues from mobile payments reached around $1.3 trillion in 2020.
The same year also saw the largest annual increase in the number of new users of mobile payment apps (approximately 900 million). So if you were and are still in a dilemma of going for mobile payment apps, then the numbers can help clear that up.
The names of NFC mobile payment apps are not restricted to the ones listed above. But if you’re looking for the best app for NFC payment, one of the above five is sure to top your personal chart.