Buying a Verizon SIM online? Watch out for NFC SIM GOTCHA!

If you are in the market for a Verizon Wireless SIM card and decide to purchase one online to save a few bucks you may find that Verizon will not activate it due to “compatibility” issues with your device.  You might say “wait a minute, my device takes a NANO size SIM and this one says Verizon on it, why isn’t it compatible?” The answer is NFC or Near Field Communications.  It turns out that Verizon sells 2 different types of SIM cards – the regular garden variety one and the NFC.  NFC is a technology that allows your device to pass information to another device as in “touchless” payment services like Android Pay or Samsung Pay.  On an Android device (Not Apple) this may require the use of a Secure Element NFC SIM card to add another layer of encryption to the process.

“But I don’t use NFC on my phone” you may say, Ah Ha! but Verizon will not waver and demand that you purchase an NFC SIM regardless even though you have the regular SIM in hand. You have just experienced NFC Gotcha!  At this point Verizon will offer to provide one for you for somewhere north of $15 and they usually won’t give any credit for the one you purchased online.

“Well what if I have an iPhone?” Here is where this NFC Gotcha thing gets tricky. Even though Apple has Apple Pay it does not use the encryption embedded in the NFC SIM card, and to make things worse the SIM may not work or become “glitch” with your Apple device. So Apple users should avoid NFC SIMs altogether.

So if you want to avoid Verizon NFC SIM Gotcha be sure to do your homework before purchasing a Verizon SIM online.  If you have an Android device that is NFC capable – skip the drama and GET the NFC type SIM.