The launch of Apple Pay with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple iWatch, the NFC has the potential to play an important role in how we use our phones and replace our regular credit cards (MasterCard, VISA), etc. This, according to CNET’s recent article on the subject. However, it will not be the final solution that consumers will settle with. The following are the reasons why:
(i). Smartphones are too bulky and – as they are not worn (i.e. a wearable) – they can easily be misplaced and forgotten or even be stolen. Who really wants to leave behind something of such a high value unattended? Yes, the iPhone 6 comes with a Touch ID Fingerprint Scanner which – if loss of phone – they say, disallows anybody else using it. Unfortunately, this is not the case when looking more closely. As evidenced recently the Touch ID was hacked only within a few days after iPhone 6 release. So this feature is not 100% secure to the point that no normal user would consider solely rely on it. Moreover …… .. another disadvantage of fingerprint readers is that once you have given your biometric information (read: fingerprint) on your phone it is potentially available on the global, virtual network sphere indefinitely and therefore be abused by anyone in perpetuity.
(ii). Apple iWatch (and probably other future Smartwatches) will also have NFC. Obviously this is a more promising candidate that will work better for authentication purposes for Apple Pay. But in this case is the great disadvantage mainly is in the payment procedure. Just as with a Smartphone – where you can place it by a POS (Point of Sale) terminal (like today’s credit card) – you cannot with similar ease perform this movement with a SmartWatch. Instead, when worn on the arm, the consumer must extend his or her arm (and wrist) a little extra to reach the POS terminal and execute a payment transaction. This unnatural, extended motion (even though so small) will not be welcomed by all.
So what is a better solution? Using a NFC SMARTRing. It looks like an ordinary piece of jewelry but is integrated with an NFC chip (similar to that found in Smartphones and Smartwatches). Combined with an App on your Smartphone, it can easily be programmed by you to be used for any needs that you find important. This means that it is you who are in control and decides on who or what gets access to what is important to you.
Furthermore, since it is a worn, it cannot be lost as easily as a regular credit card, pass card (or Smartphones for that matter). Moreover, similarly as how pass cards are used today in hotels its access rights can immediately be revoked by you (via an App on your Smartphone) and thus no longer be used.
Finally, in the continuous development to improve two-level authentication solutions, the NFC SMARTRing will definitely be a natural part of the infrastructure in the coming years to obtain simple, flexible and highly secure authentication.
Advanced Accessories House is launching our unique brand collections for men and women. As a first taste of what’s to come, try our NFC SMARTRings along with our “NFC SMARTRing Unlock” app, which sets up a screen lock on your Smartphone that can only be opened with your own (programmed) NFC SMARTRing.