How NFC (Near Field Communication) Can Help Small Businesses Accept More Payments

Near Field Communications technology is basically a close proximity radio communications ability that can be built into small devices like smart phones and point of sale terminals as well as into “tagged” objects that contain an NFC chip which allows them to communicate with a Near Filed enables device of some kind. The technology itself is based off RFID, or radio frequency Identification, technology that allows for the transfer of small amounts of important data like payment identification numbers and other details of a financial transaction or other info.

By close proximity we’re talking about what is usually just a few inches or more although the technology is being developed so that it can be incorporated into WiFi networks that will enable it to work over distances of more than a dozen to several dozen feet.

Most NFC devices are built into smart phones so that they can interact with other devices that give them information on products, displays and other applications. However, another common use of NFC is for quick electronic sales transactions, usually through a point of sale terminal and a compatible smart phone.

This last use of Near Filed Communications is what we’re going to go over now; explain how it can help your small business collect even more sales than it already does by incorporating NFC into your business infrastructure.

Accepting Payments Outside the Store with NFC

Since NFC is able to be built into very tiny devices and objects while allowing for quick radio communication of information, it’s only natural that it should have been incorporated as a tool for mobile payments systems. This is where your small business can benefit heavily by creating payment means that don’t require customers to go into your location and swipe their cards through your point of sale terminals.

As more and more credit cards and smart phones are becoming NFC capable, you as a service provider can create an active NFC tag (chip) account with various service providers such as Paypal, through its mobile payments app or Google Wallet, the NFC payment handling app from Google.

Having these ready on either your smart phone or other mobile device you can now accept payments from anyone else with a passive or active Near Filed enabled mobile device, key fob, credit card, debit card or other NFC enabled object that is connected to their bank account, paypal account, Google Wallet Account or a credit card that’s tied into their device through the NFC tag.

The sheer numbers of possible out-of-store payment options available to you are now nearly limitless and you can get fairly creative with how and where you accept payments. For example, if your business involves delivering mobile services, you can simply bring along your own mobile device that’s been enabled with an active NFC payments tag through one of the abovementioned services and use it to collect instant payments from your clients and customers on the spot and instantly by swiping your own phone in close proximity with their phones or chip tagged cards.

Another option for your small business; especially if you happen to offer services or products that are delivered through automated portable sales kiosks, vending machines, movie rental boxes or any number of other unstaffed points of payment in an area, is to connect them with an active NFC payment system that customers can simply swipe their cards or mobile phones to. This way you can sell goods or services at unsupervised automated machines with far less worry about thieves stealing them or breaking into one and robbing actual cash.

The Future of NFC for your Small Business

As we’ve said above, the bottom line with the newly emerging NFC technology is that it offers extreme mobile payment flexibility that’s steadily increasing by the day. As more major companies or even government services that collect lots of small payments switch over to Near Field Communications for their selling needs -ie: subway systems and city buses?so too will you and many other small business owners be able to do the same as the technology becomes more common with buyers and their mobile devices.

Soon enough, with NFC, you’ll be able to collect payments from anyone anywhere as long as both of you have your phone, tablet or smart cards on you.

About the author: Steven Boggs is an award winning freelance writer with many years under his belt covering the best topics in the business and technology industries. In his free time he trains for his next iron man, and reviews tools like this small business budget template.

 

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