Contactless technology, a true technological revolution

To pay with a credit card or a smartphone, will be possible in a few months in Europe with contactless technology. What are the consequences for our daily lives? What security problems will appear with these new cards? What are the benefits for consumers?

Launched in 2010 in France, a new means of payment is conquering consumers, contactless payment with a credit card or a smartphone. In 2013, approximately eight million contactless transactions were recorded in France, and this number is constantly growing.

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So, what are the advantages and shortcomings of contactless payment? How does this technology work?   Is this method successful beyond our borders?

Today in some stores in Paris, it is possible to pay without contact. For a payment of less than 20 Euros, no need to type the code,transactions can be up to two times faster and it avoids having to go to the ATM because even very small amounts are accepted.
There is no minimum amount in this type of payment.A trader need not necessarily have the money or have a credit card, because everything is in his phone.

By card or smartphone, so it is now possible to pay a new way without contact and without code. In fact,how does this new technology work?

This contactless technology is based in two electronic objects that contact each other through the exchange of information, exchange of electromagnetic waves such as radio, Bluetooth, wifi.These technologies are a form of NFC (Near Field Communication). It works with radio waves traveling between two devices, between the payment terminal on one side and the phone or the card in the other. Each is equipped with an antenna that transmits and receives radio waves and a chip that decodes the request for payment.The device “smart antenna” is called a TAG or “NFC tag”.To use the phone, you also need this type installed inside label.

About five million contactless phones are already available in France and the number increases by 5 to 10% each month. With five million compatible mobile and 21 million contactless cards in circulation in France,this technology responds, but what about the safety (security) of this method of payment without contact?

According to some experts in computer information, this technology carries flaws. With very little computer knowledge and minimum investment, almost everyone can hack a map.Just a USB key with a contactless technology that allows you to read all NFC tags.This new technology still raises a lot of doubt in France, but what about overseas?

In the United Kingdom, consumers are asking fewer questions. Contactless payment card is part of everyday life.In 2013, there were four times more transactions with contactless cards than in 2012; the payment without card is a big hit.The percentage of customers who use this type of payment is 40%,it’s easy and fastand customers do not need to wait.

In the United Kingdom in 2013, there were approximately 97 million contactless payments.Craig Jones, working for the group of credit cards in the United Kingdom, for him this new technology poses no risk: “we publish figures fraud twice a year and these numbers are negligible.People trying to hack the cards by capturing radio waves; find it difficult to get the numbers on the card…”

These new cards generations enjoy the same legal protections as traditional maps, whether in France or the United Kingdom. But there at the moment in the United Kingdom as demand explodes.These cards are used in lots of places. Since last year, the English can pay without card in the bus; there were more than 10 million transactions in the buses. They are also used in the subway since this year and in different modes of transport in the country.More and more merchants accept this payment … contactless payments will become increasingly popular.

So, is that the English virus will cross the Channel to conquer the French? In all cases, a boom is expected in 2014 with more than 80 million transactions in France.

 

Hakim BouarabaHakim BOUARABA

Etudiant en Master 2 Commerce électronique à l’Université de Strasbourg, je suis passionné par le domaine du numérique, les innovations technologiques et le droit de l’internet

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