NEAR: P2P payments via ultra-wideband

Connective Payments team
7 July 2022

ING, NXP and Samsung have developed a method that allows smartphone users to pay among themselves via ultra-wideband. According to the parties, the method called “NEAR” is the first “peer-to-peer payment application” where users pay by holding the phone close to each other. Users therefore do not have to look up a username, e-mail address or telephone number first. According to ING, the function can be used for, among other things, paying at flea markets and sharing the bill in catering with people for whom you do not have contact details.

UWB technology

For this test, ING is working together with NXP, the Dutch manufacturer that makes the Trimension SR100T-uwb chip in various Samsung phones. The method uses NXP’s ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. That technique, 802.15.4z, works between 6GHz and 8GHz. That technique, 802.15.4z, works between 6GHz and 8GHz. A new application of this means that devices can estimate the distance from each other by measuring the signal. Apple uses this for its AirTags, among other things.

In the test, users must first select a person nearby in the ING Banking app to whom they want to pay. The option ‘Near’ appears at the top of the screen for possible receivers, with an estimate of the distance to the phone. Users can select it to share an IBAN, after which it is a normal transfer. The user enters an amount and confirms the transaction. The recipient will see the amount received in his transaction overview.

To use the payment method, both users must have NEAR on their phones and the devices must support UWB. The Samsung phones on which NEAR can already be used are the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Galaxy S22+ Ultra.

Ronald te Velde was interviewed by De Volkkrant about the NEAR test

NEAR Internal test

The technology will be further tested in the Netherlands by ING and NXP in the second half of this year. Subsequently, the next steps will be examined to actively involve customers in the further development.

"It's an interesting technique. Think, for example, of a parking lot, where you have to hang out the car window to open the barrier with your debit card. With the UWB technology, that window can remain closed."

Ronald te Velde

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