Mobile Payment Using NFC

NFC or Near Field communication is a technology used to express short messages with the help of changing a magnetic field. As its name suggests it works with very close proximity, along the lines of few centimeters.

NFC tags or cards have NFC magnetic fields embedded inside them. These tags are reprogrammable, and can be manipulated to store some information at one time. NFC comes with mobile devices which have the ability to read NFC tags/cards or simulate a NFC magnetic field within themselves to enable sending NFC messages. NFC has been used for many applications and the implementations are growing. Some examples are ticketing operations, access authentication, contact cards, smart posters and mobile payment.

Mazarin was requested to implement a mobile payment feature using this NFC technology for a Swedish customer. In this feature the Android mobile app would get a unique code via a web service that would be passed to a NFC reading device through Android beam technology, which uses NFC to send short messages to other NFC enabled Android devices or NFC readers. Once the reader gets this code it will validate the code and pass it to another web service to submit the transaction.

The code sending part on the Android phone and reading a NFC tag to generate the code was developed. The NFC reader integration to a POS (Point Of Sale) application was implemented as well with a Java client to read data from the NFC reader.

NFC Mobile Payment Process
  1. User scans a NFC tag which has the information of the merchant. A Merchant ID is extracted from the tag to the phone.
  2. Phone uses a web service to request for a payment code from the client's administrative application. The Merchant Identifier is sent with other user identifiers.
  3. Client's administrative application sends the payment code to the phone unique for the merchant, the user and the time.
  4. The payment code is sent to the NFC reader with the merchant using Android Beam NFC.
  5. The payment code is queued in the NFC Bridge.
  6. User selects the items to pay for in the POS terminal.
  7. The selected items and their total prices are queued in the NFC Bridge.
  8. The NFC Bridge submits the transaction to the client's administrative application. The payment code and the selected items are tallied and collected in the transaction.
  9. Client's administrative application validates the transaction at the service providing bank.
  10. Bank sends the transaction success status if the validations are passed.
  11. Transaction confirmation email sent to the user with the transaction information.
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