Contactless payment is such a relief in countries such as India where strategic government moves such as demonetization are in the run. And for developed nations, this not-so-new but hot payments concept is an escalation in the world of commerce that tellingly widens up the customer service portfolio. Falling on similar lines, Samsung Pay is currently making the news columns with its “revolutionary way to pay” mobile payment setup. However, tech newbies might find it surprising to know that contactless payment has always been around, since two to three years.
Contactless payment is just what it reads, meaning you can complete cashless payments without even swiping or inserting your card into a point of sales (PoS) device. All you need to do is wave your smartphone at a PoS machine.
Contactless Payment Works on Three Types of Technology Platforms
Magnetic secure transmission (MST) is a cost-effective technology that allows merchants to process contactless payments without the need to make a new hardware investment. It simply emits a magnetic signal from customer’s smartphone which can be read by a conventional PoS terminal magnetic strip card reader.
Contactless payment on ICICI’s Pockets app is a perfect instance of the host card emulation (HCE) technology. You need an Android operating system on your mobile phone to use HCE at any near-field communication (NFC)-enabled terminal. It converts physical debit or credit cards into virtual cards.
The NFC technology is the most average of all as it mandates both merchant’s PoS terminal and customer’s card to be NFC compliant. However, transactions can be completed even using stickers and tags besides cards. The Tap & Go Debit Card of the State Bank of India is a practical example of the NFC technology.