Apple Pay, NFC, And EMV:  BIG Questions around the Evolution of Payments

Apple Pay, NFC, And EMV: BIG Questions around the Evolution of Payments

With Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled smartphones quickly becoming more popular, speed up your average customer check out time and grow your business with NFC-capable processing terminals. With the introduction of Apple Pay, companies now have the ability to offer quick and secure transactions to the millions of Apple users expected to purchase the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This announcement has been arguably the most impactful technology shift on the payments and payments technology space in its history. Since the announcement, our phones have been inundated with business owners looking for the technology to support the acceptance of “Apply Pay” payments. This is significant in that, for the last 10 years I have been in this industry, NEVER has there been this influx of inbound calls from SMB’s looking for new payments technology.

NFC (near field communication) technology is abundantly available. My company, along with most others, are selling new equipment that is all fitted with the ability to accept a payment via NFC. It is clear at this point, but not yet validated, that NFC will become a common or preferred method of transmitting card data. Apple Pay has nearly cemented this theory. Now comes the discussion of how do we combine Apple Pay, NFC and the EMV Mandate?

Everyone is scrambling to get up-to-date processing equipment, card readers, etc that support EMV (Chip and PIN), as well as accept a transaction via NFC. Processing gateways and other middlewares are working overtime on programing their systems to accept Chip and Pin transactions and NFC, as well. The demand from businesses that use POS systems and/or gateways as the link between their software and merchant processing are asking the simple question: “Will I be EMV compliant by the deadline?” A simple questions to which there should be a simple answer. The answer that can be given to most that use a gateway like mine is YES, the solution will be ready and implemented with ample time prior to October of 2015.
EMV and NFC Today
Unfortunately and not well known, even if you have invested in Chip and PIN enabled equipment or have a card in your wallet that is chip enabled, it would work. With all the hype going around about this, the payment processing networks have yet to release a certification that will allow Chip and PIN transactions to be processed. Adding one more complicated wrinkle to this equation is NFC. By using Apple Pay or any other card that allows for NFC, will that negate the reading of the “chip”? All signs point to Apple Pay being more secure than anything else, but will it fall under the requirements of the EMV mandate? We are also waiting to see how the card issuers are going to respond with new interchange categories for Chip and PIN transactions and/or NFC.

Needless to say, this is a very exciting time for the payments industry. We are in the midst of the biggest changes in its history and there are still many unanswered questions. Breaches are happening more frequently than ever, Jimmy Johns being the latest high profile breach that has hit mainstream media.

I look forward to the next few months to see how things unfold. I will be updating this blog immediately as information becomes available or whenever I hear some new juicy details from the insiders rumor mill.

Thank you for reading,



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