What Is Near Field Communication (NFC)?

Near field communication (NFC) allows a device — a smartphone or a tablet, for example — to communicate with other devices. It’s a radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, and machines must be equipped with NFC tags for this handy system to function.

When two NFC-enabled devices or cards come close to each other, they notice one another’s presence. Often, they must be within an inch or so, but sometimes they can be as far apart as 3 to 4 inches. Those tags then activate each other and send certain types of data back and forth. Neither gadget needs to be connected to the internet for the system to work.

NFC Is Everywhere

There are many practical NFC applications. Payment is a major one. For instance, you could swipe your NFC phone or credit card on an NFC unit at the supermarket and instantly pay for your groceries. And you’d have the option of paying with your debit card, credit card or savings.

In addition, NFC lets two touching smartphones exchange photos, games, WiFi passwords, contact lists and more. It’s like magic.

Today, NFC is included in most phones, and all major mobile operating systems support NFC apps. This technology is easy to use, and it requires very little energy. Therefore, it won’t strain your utilities budget.

Soon, all kinds of cards that consumers use, including library cards, could come with NFC capabilities. Just imagine handing out a business card with an NFC chip. When customers and other businesspeople swipe it with their phones, all kinds of information about you could pop up; they might even see pictures or videos of you.

In short, with NFC and RFID, tracking assets, processing payments and analyzing consumer data becomes a breeze. Many of your core business activities will be powered by radio waves.

Submit Your NFC Story

Finally, we want to hear all about your implementation of NFC. Send us your story, or contact us to help you craft an article, podcast or case study. Be one of the innovators who help others learn to utilize NFC in their businesses!