What are NFC, Apple Pay, and Google Pay?

NFC or “Near Field Communication” is a technology that allows short-range communication to occur between devices that are compatible. For this to work, one device should transmit the signal at least while the other one should receive it.

NFC or “Near Field Communication” is a technology that allows short-range communication to occur between devices that are compatible. For this to work, one device should transmit the signal at least while the other one should receive it. A wide variety of devices can make use of the NFC standard, and may be regarded either as Passive or Active. 

Passive NFC devices comprise of small transmitters such as tags that transmit signals to other NFC devices with no need for an own power source. But these do not process any data transmitted from some other source. Also, these cannot establish connections with other passive components. Often, these assume the shape of interactive signs on ads or walls. 

Active NFC devices can send as well as receive data, and are able to communicate with passive devices as well as with one another. Smartphones happen to be the commonest forms of these devices. Touch payment terminals and Public transport card readers are excellent instances of the NFC technology. 

How does NFC work?

NFC, similar to any other wireless signal or WIFI and Bluetooth, operates on the principle of sending signals over radio waves. In wireless data transitions, Near Field Communication happens to be one more standard. It indicates that devices need to abide by some specifications to be able to contact each other in a proper way. The technology that is used in NFC happens to depend on older Radio-frequency identification (RFID) ideas that made use of electromagnetic induction for data transmission. 

A mainstream wireless technology now, NFC has grown due to the popularity of Apple Pay, Google Pay and other online payment systems. This is particularly the case when mid-ranger and high-end devices are concerned. 

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is accepted by over 50% of online stores out there. Just like Google Pay, it extends an ease, private and secure electronic payment service with the help of Mac, Apple Watch, iPad or iPhone. Other than an Apple device, it needs the most updated version of macOS, watchOS or iOS, an Apple ID that is logged in to iCloud and the Wallet app of Apple. 

How to use Apple Pay?

Apple Pay can be used as soon as prepaid card, debit card or credit card is added to Wallet on any type of device that you wish to use. This is compatible with the majority of U.S banks and credit cards out there. 

You can use Apple Pay in-store on your Apple Watch or iPhone at merchants that have a checkout card reader which is compatible. You need to use your Mac, iPad or iPhone online – in the Safari browser. When you make use of Apple Pay, benefits, rewards and loyalty points from your cards go on accruing. 


You may even receive or send money from your Apple Watch, iPad or iPhone. You can ask Siri to make payment to somebody with the debit or credit cards that you have stored already in Wallet, or send money in Messages. The money that you obtain is added to the Cash card of Apple Pay in the Wallet. Thus, it can be used straightaway. Money from your Apple Pay Cash card can also be transferred to your bank account.

Apple Pay can also be used for paying friends quickly. However, you might be charged a fee for this depending on the credit card that you pick. No fee is charged to customers or merchants by Apple. 

At anytime that you buy something with the help of Apple Pay, receipts are stored in your Wallet app. However, there is no storage of any transaction data in any other place. Each transaction that you make on your Mac, iPad or iPhone needs to be authenticated with the help of your passcode, Touch ID or Face ID. Its unique passcode protects your Apple Watch. In case your Apple device is not stolen or lost, you may suspend or remove permanently the capacity to make payments from that device.

Google Pay

Google, in January 2018, announced a rebranding of its own customer payment products. It merged Google Wallet and Android Pay into one service referred to as Gpay or Google Pay. The  autofill feature of Google Chrome is also incorporated in Google Pay. 

How to use Google Pay?

Just as in case of previous versions of the payment products of Google, customers are able to add most gift cards, debit cards and credit cards to the application. Loyalty cards can also be stored, allowing you the chance to preserve reward points.

The near-field communication (NFC) technology is used by Google Pay within store, for sending credit card data to the card reader from your mobile phone. In case there is a compatible card reader in the store and Google Pay is accepted by it, you have to just hold the phone to the card reading device, keeping your phone open.

No fingerprint authentication is needed in this app. However, it can be used for unlocking the screen if so desired. It also operates with a password, pattern or PIN, although it is not compatible with retina scanning, Knock to Unlock or Smart Unlock. It is easy to verify purchases with a security code that is sent by Google to users. No transaction fee is charged by Google for purchases that are made through Google Pay.

Loyalty cards, gift cards, debit cards or credit cards added previously to Google Wallet or Android Pay by customers work like usual. There is no need for customers to add some other app for using Google Pay. For all those users having Google payment apps already, the sole alteration happens to be the automatic device update for reflecting the name on Google Pay.

Rather than using personal information such as your actual credit card number, Google Pay makes use of a virtual account number which can ensure the security of your personal information on your mobile device. In case your phone gets stolen or lost, you may lock it, wipe all financial data or create a new password until the recovery of the phone.