What is NFC? Powerful things to know about NFC technology

Updated: January 26, 2023

By: Marcos Isaias

 What is NFC? Near Field Communication, or NFC is a type of short-range wireless communication. It allows devices to transfer information while close together, typically within four inches. NFC is a branch of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

How NFC Works

NFC is a form of radio communication that allows two devices to exchange data wirelessly over a distance of less than 4 cm (1.6 inches). NFC devices get this power because tiny microchips can store and process small data. 

Manufacturers insert NFC chips in contactless payment cards, key chains, wristbands, mobile phone cases, and many other items. When you tap your card or phone on a contactless terminal, the NFC device’s chip can read data from the NFC terminal and send it wirelessly. 

NFC cards operate in passive mode, active mode, and card emulation mode. 

NFC Passive mode: 

One device provides information, usually an NFC tag or sticker. The other device, usually a smartphone, reads the information. 

NFC Active mode: 

Requires both devices to provide power to create an electromagnetic field. The Electromagnetic field enables them to send and receive data. 

NFC Card emulation: 

Mode allows a device to act like a contactless credit card. When two devices are near, they can share photos, videos, files, contacts, and more. Also, users can make purchases with their smartphones using NFC technology.

Difference with RFID


NFC and RFID are different technologies that use radio waves to communicate. NFC is a subset of RFID, meaning that all NFC devices are also RFID devices, but not all RFID devices are NFC devices. 

NFC operates at a frequency of 13.56 MHz, while RFID operates at a frequency of around 125 kHz or 134 kHz. Also, NFC is faster than RFID, with a maximum data transmission rate of 424 kbit/s, compared to 106 kbit/s for RFID.

Benefits of NFC Payments

Many applications in 2022 use NFC, such as contactless payments, access control systems like keycards and electronic door locks, public transport ticketing systems, and data exchange. 

For example, you can find NFC tags on products or packaging so customers can receive additional information about the product with their smartphones by tapping them together.

Use of NFC on payments

NFC Card cartonish image
Smart card icons created by Freepik – Flaticon

There are several advantages to using NFC for payments:

  1. NFC is a very secure way to pay because the data exchanged between the card and terminal is encrypted. If your card is lost or stolen, it would be tough for someone to use it to make unauthorized purchases.
  2. NFC payments are speedy and convenient. You can simply tap your card on the terminal and be on your way without having to fumble around with cash or a card reader.
  3. You can make purchases online or in apps with NFC. 

Are NFC devices safe?

Yes, NFC chips are safe. They use minimal power and have a limited range, making them difficult to hack. Additionally, the data exchanged between the card and terminal is encrypted, so it is challenging for someone to steal your information. However, it would be best if you still took precautions to protect your information, such as never sharing your PIN or account number with anyone or using a protective wallet.

What is NFC on digital business cards

Digital business cards are a convenient way to exchange contact information. They allow you to store your contact information in a digital format and share it with others by tapping your phone against theirs. NFC is a perfect technology because it is fast, secure, and easy to use.

There are several different NFC-based business card apps available for smartphones. One of the most popular is Bump, which allows you to quickly exchange contact information by bumping your phones together. Other apps include CardMunch, CamCard, and Business Card Reader.

If you are looking for a simple way to exchange contact information with others, digital business cards are a great option. NFC makes them quick and easy to use, while the security features ensure that your data is safe.

NFC as a promotional medium

Promotional purposes are also a way of using NFC. For example, businesses can use NFC tags to provide customers with additional information about their products or services. Promoting special offers or discounts is also a way of using NFC tags.

Another way to use NFC for marketing is by using it to create custom experiences for customers. For example, a business could create a tag that would launch a special offer or presentation when tapped by a customer’s phone. 

Having a special tag would allow businesses to create unique and customized customer experiences that would be difficult to replicate with other technologies.

Overall, NFC provides various business opportunities to promote its products and services. It is a fast, convenient, and secure technology that can be used in various ways.

Wrapping up

NFC is a convenient way to exchange information between devices without entering data. 

NFC is used in many applications, such as contactless payments and access control systems. NFC tags can be placed on products or packaging so customers can receive additional information about the product with their smartphones by tapping them together. There are many custom options where you can buy your cards and some people go as far as trying to make them themselves


Marcos Isaias

PMP Certified professional Digital Business cards enthusiast and AI software review expert. I'm here to help you work on your blog and empower your digital presence.