In just a short six months, many merchants will choose to upgrade their point-of-sale systems to accommodate for the transition to EMV chip cards. With this conversion comes many changes, one being the widespread adoption of Near-Field Communication (NFC). NFC payment options allow customers to pay contactless, without dipping or swiping their card. Instead, the patron can use a card with an EMV chip or a smartphone with a payment app to make a transaction with a quick tap to the terminal.


According to Mobile Payments Today, the two biggest factors that previously prevented NFC payment adoption were that POS systems weren't compatible with this form of payment and only a limited number of customers had smartphones capable of supporting NFC technology. However, both of those factors have changed, making NFC one of the most secure and simple payment solutions today.


Availability of NFC payment systems
With the transition to EMV payment acceptance, many of the upgraded POS systems come with built-in NFC payment capabilities, but it's up to merchants to decide whether they want to make use of this technology. Jeremy Gumbley, chief technology officer for Creditcall, believes merchants should take advantage of NFC payment technology.


"I can't think of any reason why a merchant wouldn't accept contactless unless they were selling very high-value items and wanted to do the transaction a different way," Gumbley told Mobile Payments Today.


Smartphone compatibility
Many phones, notably the Android™, Windows® and Apple® phones, are enabled with NFC technology. Third-party applications can make the transition to mobile payments easy. Two of the most popular applications are Google Wallet® and Apple Pay®.


Google Wallet stores credit card information in the customer's Google account, according to Hongkiat. When the phone is tapped to the NFC compatible payment systems, the payment is made. It's that simple.


Apple Pay allows users to pay with their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch. To complete a transaction, users simply hold their devices close to the POS with a finger on Apple's Touch ID sensor.


According to TechRadar, the iPhone 6 Plus ranks No. 8 on the most popular smartphones list and iPhone 6 fills the No. 2 spot, both of which have NFC capabilities.