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  • Go through checkout, tap your card and there, you paid in less than two seconds.


  • It's faster than, hold on,


  • this and safer than this.


  • That quick exchange is thanks in large part to these, just a few little wires that make contactless payments possible.


  • Here's a look inside the tech that makes those payments both quick and secure and why tap-to-pay has taken so long to gain traction in the US.


  • This is the tech behind tap-to-pay.


  • At the heart of tap-to-pay is a technology called NFC, or near field communication, which itself is a specific form of RFID or radio frequency identification.

    感應支付的核心技術是一種稱為 NFC(近場通訊)的技術,它本身就是一種特定形式的 RFID(無線射頻辨識)技術。

  • You might be familiar with it as a way to unlock your hotel room, for example.


  • NFC relies on those little wires which are actually antennas.

    NFC 依賴那些小小的線路,它們實際上是天線。

  • The antenna kind of looks like a racetrack and it's a coil of different wires and that's what's used to basically transmit the radio frequency on both sides.


  • This is Mike Maclennan.

    這位是 Mike Maclennan。

  • He's the general manager of hardware at Square, a company that makes card readers.

    他是 Square 公司的體部門的總經理,該公司製造信用卡讀卡器。

  • And he cracked one open to show us exactly how a tap-to-pay transaction works.


  • Reminds me a lot of opening oysters.


  • Card readers also have those antennas.


  • This is the NFC antenna, so this is the magic of what makes NFC transactions work.

    這就是 NFC 天線,這就是使 NFC 交易生效的神奇之處。

  • And you can see, once we pull it off, how thin the NFC antenna is.

    當我們將其拆開後,你可以看到 NFC 天線有多薄。

  • The card and the reader are what he calls passive and active connections.


  • The reader is active because it has power, and can initiate radio communication on its own.


  • And the card is passive because it doesn't have power and needs to be near an active source to initiate that communication.


  • Tapping your phone works the same way, because your phone emulates the passive card.


  • What's happening right now is the coil in here is active and it's looking for a card, basically, anywhere within this region up here.


  • It's doing that, using a radio frequency specific to NFC devices, which only works at a very short range, a maximum of about four centimeters.

    它使用與 NFC 設備特定的無線電頻率來執行這項任務,這種頻率只在非常短的範圍內有效,最多約四公分。

  • And when the reader finds the card, it requests the information needed for payment.


  • That information is stored here, in your card's chip.


  • One thing it stores is what's known as static data, meaning information that's the same every time you use your card.


  • That's things like the account number and expiration date.


  • It's what's sent from your card's magnetic stripe when you swipe.


  • But your chip doesn't just send that static data when you tap.


  • It also sends something called a cryptogram, a unique string of numbers the issuers use to verify that your card is valid.


  • What the card is doing is it's collecting information from the reader about the transaction,


  • about the reader specifically, and it's combining that with the the card information using its cryptographic key to create a unique number for that transaction.


  • That's what makes it really hard to replicate a card fraudulently is because the card needs to have a cryptographic key that lets them generate that secret code.


  • That information is fed through this, the payment board which sorts to the data that needs from the card and puts it all into an encrypted package.


  • That package then gets sent off to the main board, which then.


  • Sends that on to our servers, which then send it on to the networks like Visa, MasterCard, AMEX,

    主機板將其發送到我們的伺服器,然後伺服器將其發送到 Visa、MasterCard、AMEX 等網路,

  • which then send it on to the issuer and then back with the approval message.


  • Once you get to this board, it's all encrypted and protected information and so anything beyond this will have a high degree of security involved in it.


  • All of that happens in just a few seconds, faster than inserting your chip.


  • So when you insert a chip card into a reader, there's a few back and forths in that communication whereas in contactless, there's just fewer back and forth.


  • It was just built as a more efficient, more streamlined, only the bare necessities kind of information being passed back and forth.


  • Card networks and security experts say that this is also more secure than other ways you can use your card.


  • Unlike swiping, your static data is better protected during that communication.


  • And because it doesn't have contact with the reader, it's not susceptible to malware that can affect chip insert transactions on rare occasions.


  • This tap-to-pay technology has taken off in the last few years, in part because of the push for contactless during the pandemic.


  • Square says such payments tripled between the beginning of 2020 and the end of 2022.

    Square 說此類支付方式從 2020 年初到 2022 年末增加了兩倍。

  • While other countries like the UK have had contactless integrated into public transportation for years, it's taken the US more than a decade to get here.


  • For a whole new way to pay, MasterCard introduces Pay Pass.

    全新的支付方式,萬事達卡推出 Pay Pass。

  • US first started issuing tap-to-pay cards in the 2000s.

    美國於 2000 年代開始發行感應支付信用卡。

  • Peter Rudegair is a Wall Street Journal reporter who covers payments and financial technology.

    Peter Rudegair 是《華爾街日報》記者,負責報道支付和金融科技領域的新聞。

  • Different banks thought it was a cool, new technology and thought their consumers would really flock to it.


  • Didn't really work out just because there were few businesses that were set up to accept tap-to-pay.


  • US Retailers have been slow to replace payment systems, in part because they're expensive to change.


  • In 2022, about 55% of merchants said they accepted tap-to-pay, with others saying they were planning on implementing it.

    2022 年,約 55% 的商家表示他們接受感應支付,其他則表示正在計劃採用。

  • Consumer behaviors are also difficult to change and the switch to contactless didn't feel urgent.


  • It's just often been described as a solution in search of a problem.


  • Yes, it might be convenient and yes, it might be safe, but that's not usually enough for people to switch their behavior.


  • The tech still has room to grow and the push to integrate it into more parts of everyday life is working in its favor.


  • In New York, for example, subway riders can now tap-to-pay at turnstiles.


  • So you have this big push to get tap-to-pay into more transportation systems and to get people used to using it every day.


  • And if you're gonna use tap-to-pay to get on and off the subway at least twice a day,


  • maybe you'll also use it for your coffee, your lunch, your drinks.


  • At least that's the idea that the credit card companies hope happens.


  • Square and other companies have also recently released to the functionality to use the NFC antenna in your phone as the active connection,

    Square 和其他公司最近也發布了使用手機上的 NFC 天線作為主動連接的功能,

  • essentially putting a reader in your pocket, which could make it easier for small retailers to accept card payments.


  • This is showing you where it wants you to tap and so the NFC antenna on your phone is right behind this.

    這顯示了你需要輕觸的位置,手機上的 NFC 天線就在其後面。

  • And so when I take my NFC-enabled credit card and I hold it over there, done, transaction complete.

    當我拿起我的支援 NFC 的信用卡,將它放在那裡,交易完成。

Go through checkout, tap your card and there, you paid in less than two seconds.


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