NFC technology and benefits

What is NFC?

NFC stands for near-field communication. If you've ever tapped your credit card on a chip-enabled credit card reader as you're paying for groceries or buying your morning coffee, then you've used NFC. The chip that enables NFC technology to work is called a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. 

NFC in Passports

Passports are also equipped with NFC technology. All United States passports issued since 2006 have an RFID chip. The information stored on the chip includes fields such as:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Date of Issuance
  • Expiration Date
  • Biometric identifier—a digital image of the passport photograph, which helps with facial recognition at points of entry while traveling

NFC in passports enables automated identity verification, which helps travelers pass through immigration inspection faster. NFC in passports also helps prevent passport fraud.

NFC on Persona

Persona has now enabled this technology in Inquiries. Users who are trying to identify themselves using their passport and who have an NFC enabled smartphone can easily upload their passport with a tap.

Streamlined user experience

Once the user taps their passport with their NFC enabled smartphone, Persona will show them all information associated with the passport for their review. They can then submit the image as an acceptable form of identification and continue through the rest of the identity verification flow.

Why offer NFC?

NFC can benefit both the end user completing an identity verification flow, and the organization performing identity verification.

For the organization:

  • Increased security and fraud prevention: Passport fraud is a notoriously difficult problem to solve in the identity verification industry. Passports have less complex visual details, so they are easier to forge. Using NFC technology means you do not need to rely on visual details—instead, the information comes from the RFID chip.
  • Higher conversion rates: Because NFC makes it easier for users to upload their passport, organizations leveraging this feature may benefit from higher conversion, and lower drop off in their identity verification flows.

For the end user:

  • Streamlined and faster verification: With a tap of their smartphone and a quick review, users can get through an identity verification flow faster and easier.

Who should use NFC?

NFC technology is most relevant to organizations that:

  • Accept passports across their user base as a form of identity verification, and
  • Integrate the Persona verification flow into their mobile app, or have an app that is largely used on the phone. This is because the most common NFC-enabled devices are smartphones.