Transport for London (TfL) executive Shashi Verma has declared NFC’s read speeds “too slow” for use in the London Underground, reports PCWorld.
Speaking at the Open Mobile Summit conference in London, Verma explained that contactless read speeds on the Tube have to be faster than 500 milliseconds, which NFC can’t make under current standards. According to Verma, NFC used to be fast enough, but a standards change in 2008 moved the secure element from the phone to the SIM card, thus increasing the distance from the antenna and slowing the transaction speed.
In addition to becoming speedier, Varma said that NFC needs to be more user friendly, calling the technology “too fidgety” for the average consumer.
In the meantime, TfL is working on enabling EMV contactless bank card payments on buses this year, with London Underground to follow in 2013.
According to Verma, NFC backers will have to show the same commitment to improving performance as the EMV backers if NFC is to follow suit.
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