Major NFC upgrades are on the way, but the rollout will take a while

NFC button in the quick settings panel
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The NFC Forum plans to increase the transmission range of NFC connections by up to sixfold.
  • NFC wireless charging will also see an increase in power capacity of up to 3W from the current 1W limit.
  • These and other improvements are expected to make their way to your devices through 2028.

The NFC Forum, which is responsible for keeping NFC connections streamlined and up-to-date, has laid out its plans to make NFC payments and wireless charging faster and easier over the next five years.

NFC payments currently support wireless connections of up to 5mm, requiring you to touch your smartphone to a POS terminal when paying for items. This defeats the purpose of contactless transactions, and the NFC Forum wants to fix that by increasing the transmission range of NFC connections by up to six times.

The collective said in a press release that even minor changes are sufficient to reduce the need to precisely align the antenna during contactless payments. As a result, when this particular improvement is made public, your Google Wallet or Samsung Pay transactions will be much easier and faster.

Another key initiative is to enable NFC to transmit wireless power up to 3W, significantly increasing its capacity from the current 1W limit. According to the group, this upgrade should be sufficient to wirelessly charge smaller devices.

Apart from these efforts, the NFC Forum also plans to make it possible for a single tap to support several actions, including point-to-point receipt delivery, loyalty identification, and total-journey ticketing. In addition, the collective wants to equip NFC-capable smartphones with Point-of-Sale functionality as well as the ability to share data required for sustainability.

The roadmap is designed to come into fruition through 2028, but the group says that "the individual work items are currently in varying stages of development, ranging from research to market requirements to draft specifications."

It may even take more time for all of those initiatives to become widely available to consumers, so don't hold your breath for a completely wireless connection over NFC anytime soon.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • EdwardMatthew
    That's great news! The NFC Forum's commitment to expanding the range and power capacity of NFC connections shows their dedication to advancing the technology. While the rollout may take some time, it's exciting to know that major upgrades are on the horizon. This progress will likely pave the way for even more innovative applications and enhanced user experiences in the future. I can't wait to see how NFC evolves and benefits various industries and everyday life.
  • davinp
    10 years ago, Google came out the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet that had NFC and Google Wallet. But back then no retailers had tap-and-pay as we do today. I hate that Google Android doesn't get recognition as Apple does because Tap and Pay didn't show up until after Apple added NFC to the iPhone
  • davidnc
    Yes, I first used Google Wallet on my Nexus 6. There were a couple places in this small town that was able to use at. But today just about every place has it