Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Battle for the Mobile Payments Space – QR Vs NFC

We have heard of the race between NFC and QR to replace our credit cards. But, what exactly are they? And who uses them and how? In this article, we look at what QR code and NFC are, and how the mobile world intends to leverage them in different ways.

QR Code (Quick response codes)

Mobile devices’ cameras scan a code to unlock the user’s payment information and complete the transaction. The process can be used on any device running Apple iOS OR Google’s Android software.

QR can be displayed on phone and scanned by POS or other Smartphone tablet.

è QR Codes can be display at registers in stores
è Codes can be printed on restaurant bills
è Cash and credit cards never change hands

NFC (Near field communication)

It enables radio connection from one device to another, similar to Bluetooth technology. It is a secure element for storing sensitive data that is separated from the rest of the system. It provides for two-way communication (real-time) between devices, payment and acceptance.

But the devices must be within range of each other. Across a broader spectrum, it provides for:

è Data transfers
è Keyless door entry
è EMV Compliance- Ensures usability/accessibility for NFC mobile payments

How companies fare on this count:

1. ISIS (Merchants and financial institutions)

A software-based mobile wallet that organizes credit and debit cards, loyalty cards, and special offers in one app. Provides contactless payments through NFC and has NFC enabled terminals.

2. Google Wallet

Users store credit and debit information on the app. Payments are made through NFC technology. Cloud-based version supports credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Discover.

3. Level up

It operates on the premise that mobile payments should be easy and free for merchants and consumers. Here, consumers’ credit or debit cards are associated with a unique QR code. It is strictly QR based and works for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

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