Have you found yourself fumbling around your wallet or purse looking for your credit card? New technology is allowing you to ditch the credit cards all together and make mobile payments on your smart phone.

Near Field Communication (NFC) allows two local, chip-enabled devices to share small bits of data. It’s been used in various applications for years, but is now even more relevant as it’s worked its way onto our smart phones for quick and convenient retail transactions.

The process is simple! You simply add the credit card(s) of your choosing onto your Apple Pay or Android Pay digital wallet. When shopping at a facility with NFC-based contactless pay terminals, just launch the payment application on your phone, tap it on the credit card terminal and a connection is made using NFC. At this point you may be asked to scan your finger or enter a passcode to approve the transaction. A separate chip called the Secure Element (SE) relays the authorization back to the NFC modem, and the payment processes much like a regular credit card swipe.

Security has been a major concern surrounding this technology, but the SE is what shields your digital wallet payments from theft and fraud. In light of the many credit card data breaches, now is the best time to use a safe and secure solution. Many retailers, including Target, Macys, and Walgreens, already have NFC-based contactless pay terminals in place, and new retailers are adding the technology all the time. Mobile payments will soon be the retail norm.

Good luck with your holiday shopping, and Merry Christmas from all your friends at TeamFiber!