What is better: QR codes or Near Field Communication?
Current lifestyle influences on people’s preferences in present-day technologies. Nowadays we have fewer and fewer time for everything. This is the reason why we tend to make easier as much processes in our everyday life as possible. Financial operations are not exception. Near Field Communication and QR codes are there for people who are in need of time saving. It is impossible not to compare these promising technologies.
Near Field Communication is wireless technology for data transmission. NFC exploits re-programmable tags which need no energy source. Tags start working when NFC-enabled gadget appears not far away from them. Their main convenience is that they are lasting, can work even behind the glass or other non-metallic stuffs. Also NFC tags demands no light or camera to spot it.
Quick response code (QR Code) is a two-dimensional barcode made to spread encoded information in different formats (simple text, graphics or link to the website or page for additional data). To be able to read encoded information you need to have smartphone with camera. Besides you will need special program which can read these QR codes. QR codes have been used in advertising or marketing mostly. You could peek into the building or theme park before entering it. You could listen to pieces of your favorite music, before actually buying it.
Recently QR codes became more popular in the sphere of mobile payments. For instance, you can buy coffee at Starbucks with the help of QR codes. Another example is Apple that launched QR code scanning service “EasyPay”. It allows U.S. customers to scan Apple products in the Apple store and buy them directly from their iTunes account. The most advanced way of using QR codes offers technology “QR Pal”. It enables users to pay for goods with their PayPal accounts. Also QR Pal developers promise that users will be able to link their debit/credit cards for QR payments.
NFC technology doesn't yield to QR codes. Such banks as Bank of America, Barclaycard, Capital One, CIBC, Citi, VISA, MasterCard support NFC. Google has launched Google Wallet. It allows users to pay for goods and services using cards linked to this application. NFC can be used at Points of Sale (in retail stores, restaurants), for public transport transactions, and of course for sharing data.
As we can see both technologies are easy and convenient. But which one is more widespread? According to researches 200 million NFC enabled phones will appear on the market by the end of 2012. Most tech experts believe that smart phones with NFC technology will excel credit cards by 2020. On the other hand, nowadays most people already have smartphones with cameras and have access to free QR scanning programs.
Another very important question is security of these payment technologies. For instance, QR codes can have baleful URL addresses. User has to be always cautious, as these URL addresses can direct him to some malicious sites which contain viruses. They can also turn out to be phishing sites. So when using QR codes you should always look at the address you are directed to. You can become the victim of your carelessness. To prevent security risks users of QR codes should not only look carefully at the URL addresses. Experts advice to install antivirus programs, which will guard your smartphone.
NFC also has a list of possible security risks. To them refer eavesdropping, theft of personal information, malicious sites with viruses, and relay attacks. So people, using NFC have to be aware of these security risks and never establish not encrypted connection. Also, you should use strong password for all NFC connections, as it will improve your security.
It is hard to say for sure who will win customer's recognition. Time will settle this issue.