Document details

NFC and mobile payments today

Author(s): Cruz, André Filipe de Azevedo Figueiredo

Date: 2011

Persistent ID:

Origin: Repositório da Universidade de Lisboa

Subject(s): NFC; Android; Security; Mobile Payments


NFC (Near Field Communication) and mobile payments are two areas that have received a significant amount of attention lately. NFC is a wireless communication technology already available on some mobile phones, with more to come in the near future, and mobile payments are a service whose usage is expected to grow at a significant rate in the coming years. This growth has been predicted before, and expectations have been let down, but NFC is thought to be the technology that will bring mobile payments to the masses. This thesis is focused on these two areas and how NFC can be of use in a protocol to conduct mobile payments. For this, a new protocol called mTrocos is presented that possesses several desirable characteristics such as anonymity, high security, good usability, unbanked, support for micropayments and no special hardware requirements. Its design is based on digital money concepts and ad-hoc key establishment protocols. The latter are useful because NFC is a wireless medium and offers no built-in security other than its limited range. A proof-of-concept implementation with an Android phone and a desktop NFC reader is detailed, proving that it works using only commodity equipment currently available. However, Android’s NFC API (Application Programming Interface) was found to be limited, which influenced the design of mTrocos, preventing it from relying only on NFC for the exchange of the messages. As part of the protocol’s evaluation, user tests were conducted which show that mTrocos is easy to use and that it is suited to the envisaged scenario: vending machines. Another conclusion is that NFC is a technology that improves the user experience and will be of great help for the growth of mobile payments.

Document Type Master thesis
Language English
Advisor(s) Sadeh, Norman; Neves, Nuno Fuentecilla Maia Ferreira
Contributor(s) Cruz, André Filipe de Azevedo Figueiredo
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