Near-Field Communication

Near-Field Communication

What is NFC?

Near-Field Communication, also known as NFC, is a type of RFID technology that operates on the 13.56 MHz frequency band. While the adaptation of NFC RFID can look very different from case to case, most NFC applications accomplish a similar goal due to the read range restraints of the frequency. For a list of 29 of the most common questions and answers about NFC technology, read our article “29 NFC Q&A’s” using the button below.

Examples Uses of NFC


Smart Posters & Ads


Smart Phones Shortcuts & IoT


High Value Merchandise


Public Transportation & Events


Device to Device Interaction

Access Control

Key Fobs & Smart Cards

How does NFC Work?

NFC communicates via magnetic or inductive coupling and has an average read range of up to 3-4 inches depending on the type and size of the tag. NFC has gained popularity because it operates on a single frequency at 13.56 MHz which has been standardized as a fast and secure method of communication. NFC’s standard is ISO 14443, which shouldn't be confused with HF RFID.

NFC RFID has four modes of communication - reader/writer, peer-to-peer, card emulation, and wireless charging. For example, when used for payment, an NFC-enabled device acts in card emulation mode, and when reading NFC tags, an NFC-enabled device acts in reader/writer mode.


What is an NFC Tag?

Most NFC tags are available as inlays or stickers but are also available in other form factors such as hard tags, cards, key fobs, large and small labels, and wristbands. NFC tags are generally low cost, but the cost ultimately depends on the form factor and the quantity of tags needed for the application.

What is an NFC Reader?

NFC Reader-writers and antennas can be purchased as solitary devices, or NFC-enabled smartphones or tablets can be used as the NFC hardware. NFC readers average between $50 - $75 and are typically purchased for public or shared use when a smart device would be too valuable if lost or stolen.

NFC vs. RFID: A Quick Look

Click on the graphic below to see the full size version.

Or, Jump Straight Into Our NFC RFID Tutorials:

  • How to Write an NFC Tag
    • Using a basic NFC tag and the NXP TagWriter App from the App Store, this tutorial will walk you through writing a basic URL to an NFC tag of your choice.
  • How to Use NFC Tags in Marketing
    • This tutorial will walk you through how and why to use NFC tags for marketing purposes as demonstrated by tagging a box of products shipping to a consumer.
  • How to Write a URL to an NFC Tag and Use it in the Office
    • This tutorial walks you from beginning to end on how to use NFC in your office. In this article + video, we use an NFC tag on a flyer in the office to educate the office staff about our new products.

NFC Tag Sample Packs



Shipment/Order Verification

Vehicle Identification


Near Field Communication (NFC)

Internet of Things (IoT)

Interact with Vehicles

Tracking Assets

File Tracking

Hospital Asset Tracking

IT Asset Tracking

Laundry & Textile Tracking

Preventative Maintenance

Returnable Transit Items (RTI)

Tool Tracking

Transportation Asset Management

Library Asset Management

Managing Inventory

Herd Management

Hospital Inventory Control

Luxury Inventory Tracking

Logistics & SCM

Retail Inventory Management

Vehicle Inventory Management

Data about People

Attendee Tracking

Race Timing

Sports Metrics

Tracking Attendance

Data about Objects

Telemetry & Sensor Monitoring


Vehicle Data

Access Control: Buildings

Access Control: Vehicles

Access Control: Neighborhoods

Event Management