What Does FeliCa Mean?

FeliCa is a type of RFID technology developed by Sony in Japan. It is a contactless RFID card system used primarily in electronic payment systems, and was first utilized for the Octopus card system in Hong Kong. The name is short for Felicity Card, suggesting that the technology brings happiness, enjoyment or at least convenience.


Techopedia Explains FeliCa

FeliCa is a form of RF technology, specifically it is a contactless integrated circuit (IC) card technology developed for quick transactions and multi-usage such as being used to pay for groceries or public transportation while at the same time being an access key card. The core of the technology is a special RF IC and antenna embedded into the card, which can complete transactions in approximately a tenth of a second just by hovering it over a compatible reader. The advantage of the FeliCa is that it has a considerable range, unlike common smart cards, which means that it does not need to be taken out of the wallet or even the bag to be usable. This saves time, especially in places that see a high volume of people doing transactions such as grocery stores and public transport terminals like train stations.

Although its name contains the word card in it, FeliCa is not limited to the card form factor. It can be incorporated in other items such as cell phones, key chains and key fobs, and even coins. It is also certified for ISO/IEC 15408 EAL4/EAL4+ security level, meaning that it is very secure.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.