Payment Methods

NFC Forum Shares Specs For QR Codes Alternative

NFC Forum Offers QR Codes Payment Alternative

The NFC Forum, the standards and advocacy association for Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, released its NFC Money Transfer Candidate Specification (NMT) on Tuesday (March 5), giving payment service providers and consumers the chance to use available NFC payment solutions as an alternative to QR codes.

In a press release, the NFC Forum said the NMT solution adds speed and efficiency to the payment process, eliminating the need for a camera or scanner, which is required with a QR code-based solution. The specification works between all NFC-enabled devices, including smartphones, readers and tags.

“The NFC Money Transfer Candidate Specification uses the intrinsic benefits of NFC technology – convenience, speed, security and usability – to create a better user experience for payments than QR codes,” said Paula Hunter, executive director of NFC Forum, in the press release. “With almost two billion NFC-enabled devices in use today, the majority of smartphone users around the world have NFC technology as a standard feature in the palm of their hand.”

The NFC Forum’s NMT solution will be available for payment systems worldwide. It does not compete with other existing solutions, such as open loop and closed loop NFC-based payments, the group said in the release. Those who are interested can review and provide input before the specification is officially adopted and published.

According to the NFC Forum, the Money Transfer Candidate Specification provides a better user experience than QR codes, because it simplifies user operations and enhances security levels. The group said the NMT only requires a tap by holding the device near a reader or other NFC-enabled device. With QR codes, a user has to open a camera, target the camera and then scan the code. The NFC Forum noted that the solution also enables faster transactions, as users don’t have to select an app as they do with QR codes.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.