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NFC, MST. Must know about wireless/contactless payment mediums

Cash has been our most reliable companion since the early Mughal periods. Our exchange for sum was through officially minted coins and paper notes during British Raj. What actually changed in this field after we got independence? Apart from political debates did we practically able to replace our old mindsets? Knowing that cash isn’t at all secure. The person to own them becomes rich regardless of source. Robbery, corruption, threats are all cause of this cash aka. money, rupaiya, paisa etc.

The year of 2000 i.e. the 21st century brought a pinch of technology in the existing system of payments. Debit cards made their swift way in national and international market. Being very new, they had issuance charge and only the rich sector of the population preferred to own them. Cash was the only known medium. What gave cashless life a push was introduction of ATMs by banks.

Earlier only, Metropolitan cities had banks and ATMs. Later, after a tremendous effort the services reached every small town. People could now deposit their hard earned money in banks and earn interest. State Bank of India was and is the most widespread bank. It has the most number of branches across the nation. Apart from regular banks we also have payments bank who can provide basic facilities. Most licensed banks issue debit(and credit) card having MST and chip inside. NFC is also available in certain cards(especially in credit cards).

What is MST?

Magnetic Strip

MST or Magnetic Secure Transmission is available in debit & credit cards. This can be seen as black rectangle strip at the back of the card. It stores all the required account holder’s details non-encrypted. What it means every data stored is public to every terminal regardless of decoder. Any device can easily copy your account information and duplicate it. However, you can’t be easily theft thanks to extra secure pin/OTP system in India.

New cards these days come with an embedded chip like we see in our sim cards. They are the new gen. more secure data medium. The chip also does contain all your account information but in highly encrypted format. A duplication here is hard to make and even if done, it’s easily detectable.


Universally implemented in debit/credit cards. Also used in specific smartphones for smart pay.

chip and mst

What is NFC?

Near Field Communication popularly abbreviated as NFC is the most newly adapted technology in the hardware sector. To store frequent vital details or important discrete messages, NFC tags can drive our lives simpler than ever. We just need a abled smartphone. This system of exchange information is fast, secure and very simple to use. The range is just about few centimeters at maximum. 

nfc payment

Likewise, we also apply the same technique in payment system. Rather, what is transferred here is encrypted information to the POS or transaction machine. Once that completes, merchant’s gear does the rest formalities till finalisation. We have NFC enabled Debit/Credit Card. For Visa it’s Paywave and for Mastercard it’s PayPass. As per directive and regulation of RBI, a transaction below Rs. 2000 can be through the NFC card without requiring your card PIN. Just wave your card over and done.

nfc card paywave visa paypass mastercard


NFC Tags to store quick data; In smart devices like smartphones and digital cameras and in selected debit/credit cards.

In India, Samsung Pay use the combined form of MST and NFC for a confirmed acceptance. Most POS devices don’t have NFC. Thus, MST is in use in higher proportion across the nation. 

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Interested in blogging specifically in the emerging field of technology and science. I am passionate about my dreams to web development and programming.

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