Samsung and NXP Semiconductors are once again trying to demonstrate the potential of Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) technology. To that end, the two companies are participating in a payment pilot that will make money transfers easier for people with UWB-ready devices.
The pilot is being carried out in collaboration with ING, which is acting as the payment partner for the project. During the pilot, people will be able to use the ING banking app to send money to another individual without needing to enter any personal information to initiate the transfer.
Instead, the Project NEAR solution relies on device proximity. In plain terms, that means that two people can complete a money transfer as long as they are close enough to establish a UWB connection. When the person who wants to send money opens the ING app, NXP’s UWB tech will automatically detect the presence of other UWB devices. The person can then select the device of the person they are sending money to, and then move forward with the transaction without searching for a profile or punching in a phone number or an email address.
According to NXP, the solution speeds up and simplifies money transfers because it removes several steps from the usual process. The pilot will take place in the Netherlands in the second half of the year, and will only be supported on select Samsung Galaxy smartphones with UWB capabilities. Samsung’s full UWB portfolio includes the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy S21 Ultra and S21+, the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S22+, and the Galaxy Z Fold2 and Z Fold3.
“With this new technology, you can make a peer-to-peer payment by directing your phone towards another,” explained ING Factory’s Thijs Janssen. “UWB’s precision location capabilities ensure that the payment is safely transferred to the right person.”
The UWB utility is realized with the help of NXP’s Trimension SR100T chipset, which is featured in all of the aforementioned Samsung devices. NXP and Samsung teamed up with Bosch and HID Global to form the UWB-oriented FiRa Consortium back in 2019.