JCB and Keychain deploy NFC for offline payments

With the spread of 5G and the development of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, machine-to-machine payments will automatically fulfill contracts and make payments without human intervention, and potentially without network connectivity.

Japanese credit card provider JCB and Keychain GK have developed the first payment infrastructure for machine-to-machine transactions that supports offline payments using near-field communication (NFC).

This will enable offline payments, addressing the challenges of operational risk through network outages and distributed attacks.

Offline payment concept

As part of this collaboration, the two companies implemented the payment processing system using IoT devices, mobile phones and smartwatches, and demonstrated the following:

1. Payments can be processed under certain conditions, even in a double disconnection scenario.

2. Consensus on payment processing can be done simultaneously on mixed networks.

3. When restoring the network, offline transactions can be securely brought back online in batches.

Leveraging Keychain’s blockchain and self-sovereign identity technology, the new infrastructure allows merchants to accept conditional payments, even in the event the payer and merchant are disconnected from the network, a scenario known as the name of duplicate offline.

Notably, the experience for shoppers is as easy as swiping a smart watch on the store’s payment terminal with this system. The system uses the NFC network protocol and leverages Keychain Core to support small IoT devices with, in principle, as little as 32 megabytes of memory.

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