NFC Forum to increase transaction range from 2cm “to three or four centimetres”

Hear the NFC Forum's executive director Mike McCamon talk about NFC futures, uses cases and the Forum's roadmap
WHAT’S NEXT: Hear the NFC Forum’s executive director Mike McCamon talk about NFC futures, use cases and the Forum’s new technology roadmap

It will soon be possible for consumers to make contactless transactions with their NFC smartphone from a distance of 3-4cms, a significant increase on the current standard of 2cm, NFC Forum executive director Mike McCamon has revealed in a presentation for Contactless World Congress.

The increase in the NFC transaction range “will make the technology more useful and more user friendly,” McCamon says, “and actually will make the experience seem faster as well.”

“The idea is that, as your phone comes in contact or close proximity of the payment terminal, the connection could start and then also complete the transaction much quicker. And also you won’t have to be as precise.”

“All of us have had this experience of taking our phone and kind of moving it around trying to find the right sweet spot on the terminal,” McCamon says. “The idea is with your increased range, you’d be able to not have to do that.”

The extension of NFC’s transaction range forms part of the NFC standards body’s newly completed three-to-five year Technology Roadmap and is currently in the research phase, McCamon explains, so it’s “very exciting” but also “quite a ways away.” 

Multipurpose taps

Also on the roadmap, McCamon reveals, is the introduction of multipurpose taps that will enable consumers to perform multiple functions, such as making a payment and receiving a receipt or presenting a loyalty card and making a payment, with just one tap. 

New data formats that will support sustainability and the circular economy by allowing product lifecycle data to be directly stored on an NFC tag are also included in the roadmap along with new device-to-device connectivity features and an increase in wireless charging power from one to three watts.

McCamon also provides an introduction to NFC technology in his presentation and reports on its advantages over QR codes and other wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, ultra wideband (UWB) and WiFi.

He also explores trending use cases beyond payments including wireless charging, access control, wearables, automotive digital keys, customer engagement and healthcare.

NFCW members can access a recording of McCamon’s presentation along with a copy of his slide deck here.

• Not yet a member? You can get your free NFCW membership here. You’ll then be able to access both McCamon’s presentation and a host of additional Contactless World Congress presentations and resources with just one click.

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