NFC Security: Myths and Reality (Topic)

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NFC Security: Myths and Reality


Paying for purchases using a mobile phone has become a common and common thing, but many buyers are still worried about the security of such payments. Smartphone users fear that hackers can easily take over their personal data transmitted from a mobile device to a compromised NFC terminal.

How NFC Works


Attaching a phone to the terminal to pay for a purchase is much more convenient than carrying several plastic cards in your pocket. Near-Field Communication (NFC) or Near Field Communication technology is based on the interaction of two electromagnetic coils, one of which is located in the phone, the other in the terminal. Both devices must be within 5 centimeters of each other to communicate.

Safer than a bank card

Every NFC-enabled smartphone has additional security systems. Any technology application changes the real card number to the mobile device account number (Device Account Number).


The seller of the goods has access only to this number, instead of the real data of the bank card. This information is also useless for cybercriminals.

Advantages of technology


After authorizing the phone's SIM card in the NFC system, the operator receives only the Device Account Number from the bank that issued the plastic card and binds it to the phone. Bank card details are not saved. They remain available only to the owner, bank and payment system such as Visa.

NFC advantages over bank card purchases:

• no PIN code required;

• the map does not appear anywhere and is hidden from others;

• fingerprint of the owner of the smartphone is required for authorization;

• NFC does not have access to a bank account;

• password cannot be recovered - you will need to re-register after resetting all settings.

Can the system be hacked?

Attempts to hack the NFC system have been made repeatedly throughout the history of the technology. Cases of attempts to discredit transport plastic cards in USA and other countries have been recorded.


However, so far no confirmed attempts to hack the system have been recorded. Terminal protection is much stronger: for making payments, each of them is registered, an agreement is concluded with the bank indicating the seller's passport data and information about the trading company. All transactions are easily tracked and, if necessary, can be canceled.

Possible problems

Cases of double withdrawal of money or double transaction are quite common. There can be two reasons: a failure in the banking system or a malfunction of the terminal for receiving payments. If the bank is to blame, it is obliged to return the money to the account. If the terminal is faulty, the seller can independently cancel the transaction and the money will be returned to the buyer's card.


In any case, there is no fault of the smartphone owner. If the mobile device and the terminal have entered into interaction, the money for the purchase has been debited from the account, and the check is printed, then there should be no repeated debiting of funds. Provided that the seller's equipment is configured correctly and is in working order.

The Topic of Article: NFC Security: Myths and Reality.
Author: Jake Pinkman