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Near field communication (NFC) is a

type of wireless communications technology that can be used to effect a payment where two devices, such as a smartphone and reader, communicate through short range radio waves.[1]
[w]ireless communication interface that allows mobile devices to connect with each another or other electronic devices by physical proximity without the need for a direct physical connection. This technology may also be embedded and used by smart cards (e.g., mass transit passes).[2]


These technologies and products are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For instance Google Wallet is an online wallet that can be accessed through a mobile app. When using Google Wallet for a transaction at a physical store, it utilizes NFC technology to process the transaction.[3]

Examples of NFC technology include Bluetooth and ZigBee, which use much less energy and make smaller and cheaper products possible.

"NFC-enabled mobile phones incorporate a smart chip (called a secure element) that allows the phone to store the payment application and consumer account information securely and use the information as a virtual payment card."[4]


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