You can see the SEID number in new modern devices, phones, and tablets. Why is SEID needed, and what is this number? You can find it in the phone information, for example, on the iPhone. In the Android phone, I did not find the SEID number; although it is also there, just the system does not show it for viewing.

SEID and NFC explanation

SEID is a Secure Element IDentifier, it is an NFC chip. The SEID is factory-flashed into the NFC chip and is used to identify NFC equipment; it is needed to register the equipment when making contactless payments with a smartphone. Let me explain simply if your phone supports contactless payments, Google Pay, or Apple Pay; a unique authorization code is needed to correctly identify the device to prevent the theft of money, so SEID is such a code. You will never use the SEID number yourself, only the device needs it.

How NFC works and why SEID is needed

Many people already use contactless payments, in which the phone replaces the payment card. To be able to make payments with a smartphone, you need to set up the appropriate service. There are contactless payment systems, Apple Pay, which works on Apple-made NFC devices, and Google Pay for Android devices. Agree; it’s convenient; you don’t have to carry a plastic card and remember a pin code. Just link your card to the contactless payment service once, and then you can pay with your phone in stores. When you use your phone to pay, the system will ask you to set a password, fingerprint, or Face ID access. In short, you won’t be able to pay with a locked phone. By the way, not only does your phone have a SEID number, it’s on all the devices you can use to pay with, like smartwatches.

What you need to do to set up NFC payments

How do NFC payments work? You can set up a contactless payment service if your device supports NFC. To do this, you need to register your device in the corresponding service (it happens automatically during the installation of the application), such service is usually provided by the developer of the operating system, but banks can also develop services. Banks that work with Apple Pay or Google Pay work in a single payment system for bank transfers.

So, you decide to enable NFC payments on your phone; you sign up for the system. The next step is to link your bank card to your phone. You connect your bank card to your Apple Pay or Google Pay account. The SEID is the NFC module ID, and the NFC chip ID (SEID) is programmatically tied to your card or account. This provides payment security; the unique SEID in the NFC module and your card offer a special payment cipher.

How NFC payments are made with the use of SEID

SEID is required after attaching a card, tokenization, and creating a virtual account in which your bank card and NFC identifier are registered. The token (one-time password) is sent by the bank when it ties the card to the service. Having received the token, the payment service encrypts the card and connects it to the NFC SEID (a virtual account explicitly linked to your device is created), after which you can use NFC.

During the payment, when you bring your smartphone to the NFC reader, the bank generates a payment request. The phone, having received the request, responds to identifying the payer. The number of the virtual account and one-time password for the payment operation is sent, and the code is generated by the payment system Apple Pay or Google Pay. Having received the payment service response, the bank decrypts the information, verifies the payer’s authenticity, and makes the payment.

Payments are made without the PIN code of the card. It is enough to bring the phone to the payment terminal, and the payment will be completed. As additional protection, if the payment amount exceeds the limit, you will be asked to identify yourself, for example, by unblocking your phone or re-scanning your fingerprint.

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