Near Field Communication, or more commonly known as NFC, is a subset of RFID that allows devices to establish radio communications when they are gently bumped together or pass within close proximity (Max. 10-20 cm [4-8 in]) of special chips.
It transmits at 400 Kbps in the 13.56 MHz band.
NFC is already widely available in some countries and is slowly being rolled out in handsets marketed in the United States.
Credit Cards with NFC chips:
MasterCard introduced credit cards with embedded NFC in their Mastercard PayPass™ system in 2008.
Late night infomercials hawk aluminum wallets and other gadgets that claim to block thieves from zapping your account details right from your purse or pocket.
Google "credit card sniffer distance" or "How NFC phones can steal your credit card info" to see other claims of vulnerabilities.
I haven't seen any credible claims that these are more than scare scenarios to get people to view their YouTube post.
You don't need those to protect your credit card information. Unlike other, stronger chips based on RFID technology, EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa -global standard for integrated circuit cards) chips in contactless credit cards work only in very short range from payment terminals.
Even if a thief managed to nab your card's contents with an expensive suitcase-sized mobile scanner, he or she would only have access to its raw codes, not your actual account details. There are other security measures that make this information useless.
See 5 myths about contactless payments
NFC enabled phones and tablets
Google has partnered with them so mobile phones and tablets with NFC chips can can be used to pay with a Google Wallet account using PayPass terminals in stores such as Macy's, RadioShack, CVS, Shop Rite and others.
Now with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Apple has NFC for using Apple Pay
NFC enabled phones and tablets also allow people to share business cards and Web links on the fly or to effortlessly establish a Bluetooth connection with PCs, speakers or other devices and Wi-Fi connections to routers. It can also be used to zap payment-card data to point-of-sale terminals. It's already built into smartphones running the Android and MeeGo mobile OSes and has been rumored to be a part of future Windows Phone and iOS devices.
From November 2007 to May 2008 British mobile network operator O2 gave 500 Londoners NFC-enabled handsets, each loaded with £ 200, to use in place of Oyster cards on London Transport and in participating stores including Books Etc, EAT and Threshers.
At the end of the trial, nine out of ten participants said they were happy with the technology and 78% said they would be interested in using contactless services if available.
In early 2011 the smart phones, Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy S II, and the Nexus S 4G on Sprint had NFC.
In 2014 the iPhone 6 came out with NFC
NFCworld has a list of more than 60 phones that have NFC as of August 2012.
The Nexus 7 tablets introduced in Aug. 2012 and 2013 had it, but they became incompatible with Google Wallet because of hardware/security protocol compatibility.
Communication is possible between an NFC device and an unpowered NFC chip, called a "tag".
NFC cannot be labeled a 'new' technology, as Nokia has been active in this line since 2004. Along with Philips and Sony, it has founded the NFC Forum. Participation of 130 countries in this forum clearly signals that NFC is set to become a way of life in the years to come.
According to Gartner, August, 2012,
"NFC payments are five to ten years away from mainstream adoption and on the crossover between the 'Peak of Inflated Expectations' and the 'Trough of Disillusionment', according to the 2012 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. NFC as a whole is expected to hit the mainstream more quickly, but is still two to five years away from maturity."
Devices (smart phones and tablets) with NFC:
Google’s Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, LG G3, Galaxy Nexus, LG Viper G4 LTE, Samsung Galaxy S4
iPhone 6 - For Apple Pay only
Nexus 7 (Doesn't work with Google Wallet because of missing security features),
Eligible devices for use with Google Wallet - Wallet Help
Tests with some apps on nexus 7
None would read a credit card with a chip including Banking Card Reader.
None would read my RFID race tracking tag.
Taginfo would give tag info (Manufacturer, Type ID) on my ski pass RFID card
The 2013 nexus also gave a label "SKIDATA", but no user data.
The 2013 nexus only gave the tag info.
NFC Reader gave the tag ID only.
What you can do with NFC:
Low-cost NFC tags will change how you control your Android device | Greenbot says,
"Well, how about sticking one on the side of your luggage to increase screen brightness when using smartphone boarding passes; on your bankcard or in your wallet to launch your banking webpage; adjacent to the front door for the kids to swipe when they get home thus sending an “I’m home” text to you; on your bike (but not the metal parts) to launch a fitness app; no-password Bluetooth pairing; on your car dash to launch a Wi-Fi hotspot or music app; at your desk, to quiet the ringer; or bedside, to set alarms.
Once you get your cheap NFC tags and your phone set up, the useful applications are limited only by your creativity.
When shopping around for NFC tags online, look for either the Topaz 512 or the NTAG203 standard. Both are Android-writable and re-writable. Topaz 512 has higher memory capacity, and is more expensive. I didn’t find I needed the extra memory, though."
NFC Task launchers
Trigger 4.2) (18,870)
Any TAG NFC Launcher 4.0 (850)
Early Android phones NXP hardware which supported Mifare Classic NFC Tags and standardized NTAG203 & Topaz 512 Tags.
Newer phones use broadcom software which does not support Mifare classic NFC chips. Newer devices which do not support Mifare include Google Nexus 4, 5, 7 (2013 Version), & 10 - LG G2 G3 - LG Optimus L7 II - Moto X - Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, Express 2, Mega, Note 3, S4, S5 - HTC One M8.
Read more at http://www.andytags.com/blog
NFC vs RFID - chart
NFC Forum : About NFC
NFC World | Near field communication (NFC) news and analysis
How to use NFC tags with your Android mobile phone - CNET
Low-cost NFC tags will change how you control your Android device | Greenbot
EMV Credit Cards - Myths and Urban Legends
5 myths about contactless payments
NFC Services Overview | Forum Nokia Library
Difference Between RFID and NFC
In 2012 Gartner put NFC in the Trough of Disillusionment on their Tech. Adoption Cycle
Near field communication - Wikipedia
Android, Nokia smartphone security toppled by Near Field Communication hack | Ars Technica
NFC @ UKrfid.com
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last updated 16 Aug 2012