Yet another 3 letter acronym…

Yet another 3 letter acronym…

Hey my fellow techsperts and I hope you’ve all enjoyed the lovely bank holiday weekend.

If you’re non UK then I am #notsorry for the 3 day weekend we’ve just had; we all have them and you can rub it in my face when you’re having a BBQ and I am sat at my desk on a Monday!

I recently got chatting to my colleagues about NFC (near field communication) and they spurred me to write about my experiences with it, as I am an absolute advocate of this inbuilt feature on my Huawei P20.  I genuinely loved it when the 1st contactless bank cards came into play, albeit that I usually make <£30 purchases and have stood at the till when it has been £31.01 and gone “erm…I know it begins with an x.” (I mean of course it doesn’t begin with an x, I just don’t want to be giving my pin away to all of you; no offense!)

When I finally upgraded my phone, one of the 1st things that I did was get my NFC linked up to my bank account or via Google Pay (I did the latter, so I can use this across the board).  It was a very simple process which meant that I could try it out when I next went to pick up that naughty treat from the local Co-op or getting lunch within the week, without having to take my whole handbag with me.  It helped that at the time Google Pay were running an incentive to use your Google Pay in 5 separate retailers on 5 consecutive days to win £10 Google Play credit.  Way to go on helping my money management Google!

So other than food (which is another love of mine) what else have I used my NFC for?

 

TRANSPORT

I may no longer live within our capital city, but I am often there either on business or for social occasions.  When I lived in London, I did of course use an oyster card.  NFC had only really just come in and only on the buses, just before I decided to move.  Equally, I did not have the phone technology to be able to support this, so this has been a very recent utilisation (I know some of you have literally been using this for years!).

Why do I like using it?

#1 – you really don’t want to be “that” person with a paper ticket, do you?

#2 – do you really have the time to be scrambling around your bag to find your wallet?  Within your wallet of course is your contactless card.  In the meantime you’re being pushed between various people as the angry commuters are on their morning runs with their extra skinny, no fat, 2 shot, macchiato’s in hand, with their misspelled names on the side.  I do not want to be at the end of their wrath when you’re holding up the queue.

#3 – Oyster cards are so early 2000’s and if you lose it, you tend to lose your credit.

I know that the above are all seemingly very fickle reasons, but having NFC on your phone really adds another level of security.  You’re not getting your whole wallet out with all of your life details and various cards, sentimental photos, driving licence etc in there, all you simply need do is get out your phone (I bet you’re listening to music anyway, so it will be close by) and tap onto the contactless pad.  Hey presto you’re through the barrier and onto the rest of your journey.

It works both ways too; in and out of the tube.

Equally, for those days when the Hammersmith and City or Circle lines are really playing havok; which most commuters would understand is most of the time, you can also use this on the buses.  Exactly the same way.  No need to remember various techniques.

 

THE TIME YOU FORGET YOUR CARD…

Let’s face facts we have all had that heart racing moment when you look inside your wallet and realise that your card is either in another bag you took out at the weekend or in another item of clothing.  It is nothing to be embarrassed about, we can talk about it.  Here in lies the genius capability of having NFC on your phone.  Unless of course you forget your phone too; this is where I am not going to be able to help you and you’re really going to have to phone a friend (shameless quote from who wants to be a millionaire; one of the best quiz shows of the 2000’s).

One thing I would remind you however, is that unless it is a £30 or below purchase, the NFC will not work or if the retailer doesn’t support contactless, Google Pay or Apple payments.  So no go buying that dream car, or big holiday; it won’t work!

 

ANDROID BEAM

What is Android beam?

For those of you who have iOS phones, I’m afraid this won’t apply to you.  This inbuilt app is scarcely used by android phone users, but it is designed for those of you who use NFC and for you to get the most out of it.  It includes sharing just about anything from a card to the latest viral YouTube video.

How do you use it?

It is simple, just make sure that both devices used have the NFC capabilities and touch the two devices together so that the NFC chips are near one another.  Generally the chips will tend to be in the centre at the top, but may take some jiggery pokery to get it to a fine art.  Once connected the device which your sending the info from should pull in the screen and display “Touch to Beam.”  Just touch the screen and within seconds you will see the information popping up.

Not a fickle feature at all, is it?

 

GUESTS CAN ADD WIFI

Yes it is true!

No longer do you need to remember that great combination of letters (both upper and lowercase) and numbers when someone comes around and wants to be connected on your Wifi.  To get this working you can use trigger or go into your settings location and long press on the Wifi network.  Simply write the Wifi network info to an NFC tag that anyone can tap and they will once again be connected.  Panic over, you can post the antics of your night on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter no problem.

Various trends are emerging in the world of technology, including ease and speed.  Did you know that unless a webpage loads within the 1st 3 seconds a consumer is more likely to divert to another retailer?  3 seconds; that is all!  In a world where we are constantly striving to make our lives easier and have everything in one place, the NFC technology really helps push us towards that idealism.   Yes, I know this has been around for a while, but give the girl a break; it’s all new to me.

Only being able to go up to £30 before having to use our bank cards could pose a problem for some of you, but we have to have more security somewhere right?  I can guarantee that someone, somewhere is working on making contactless payments next generational and we will see it eventually, but for now I think we can be happy with what we’ve got.  I know I have already seen an article claiming that our bank cards will someday see us using fingerprints, so no need for those forgetful moments where you can’t remember the ten thousandth pin.  But, we have to focus on what else we can do with this technology too; seriously there is a lot I haven’t discovered, but I can guarantee that someone reading this will know.  I would welcome you to tell me.

Who’s to say what’s to come?  All I know is that I want to be around to see it all.

… Until next time my fellow techsperts

Laura

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