TNG Digital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Ignatius Ong said that the company will launch a new Touch’n G (TnG) card that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the next few weeks.
NFC is a communication protocol that lets devices talk to each other when they are close, at least 4cm away.
It is the same technology that is in almost every smartphone, office and condominium access card, and credit and debit card.
Since TnG cards work the same way, why do we need a new one?
According to Ong, the new card will allow users to easily top up their balance using an NFC-enabled port via the TnG eWallet application.
Previously, users could only check on the balance of their TnG card using the app.
Then an update adds the ability for users to add funds to the card from the app, but it still requires a user to go to a special terminal.
That means the value of the TnG Card is stored on the card and it requires special hardware to update.
The new TnG cards would not need all that. Users will be able to top up their TnG card directly from the app.
However, based on what Ong said, users may need a smartphone with NFC for it to work.
The announcement came after news that highways will soon accept alternative payment options, not just TnG based ones – TnG card, Smart Tag, and RFID.
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Since the new TnG cards use the same technology that is in our smartphones, perhaps soon we would not even need TnG cards to use it.
In the future, maybe we could just tap our NFC enabled phones at terminals to pay.
However, currently, Samsung Pay is the only NFC payment system that is available in Malaysia.