This being the case we’ve decided to put together this simple guide about NFC and how it can benefit your business and your customers.
What is NFC technology?
NFC, or as it’s technically called Near Field Communication is actually a form of RFID. RFID has been used for many years by different businesses for a wide variety of uses (Toll beepers, Travel cards, building access passes, etc all use RFID).
NFC has the ability to share information in a two-way format. This means that it can be used to share or exchange more than just small packets of data or information. One of the greatest features of NFC is that this format of reading information can be used by hundreds of millions of smartphones and other NFC-enabled devices.
Why are more customers are using NFC?
NFC smartphones and devices can connect customers to a huge range of information and enhanced interactive adventures at home, at amusement parks, in accommodation or during travel. Without even knowing it you may have an NFC-enabled device already as it’s built into many smartphones, tablets, laptops, headphones and wearables already. If you have an android phone or a fitbit, you’re already using NFC.
How can customers access NFC?
If your customers have an Android phone it’s very easy to enable NFC:-
- Swipe down from the top of your Android phone and this should bring up settings
- Find the NFC icon (usually looks like this )
- Click on it to enable NFC (should turn blue after it’s been enabled)
The best part about NFC is that there are no apps customers need to download (like QR Codes) and it won’t drain their battery (like Bluetooth).
How can customers identify NFC-enabled products or posters, etc?
The most common way to identify something as NFC-enabled is to use the N-Mark developed by the NFC Forum. This quickly and easily shows customers that all they need to do is to tap their phone next to the NFC-enabled area, product or item and their phone can be given a range of different instructions (like visiting a website, getting a popup with additional information or sending a message to enter a competition, etc). Many different companies are integrating ‘tap your phone here’ elements into their NFC-enabled smart posters etc.
What are NFC labels, tags or stickers?
Put simply, NFC tags are unpowered chips, stickers or labels that are embedded into products, displays or posters and programmed to pass some form of information to your phone or NFC enabled device. With a simple tap your customers can get enhanced product information or activate limited time or special offers.
They can even give customers more information or interactive experiences at sports venues, museums, art galleries and other venues where displays can use additional information in a digital format.
If customers have Bluetooth, why would they want to use NFC?
The first answer to this is that NFC doesn’t require any ‘pairing’ or ‘connecting’ between devices so there’s the benefit of instant information delivery. The second benefit to NFC is that it’s not a battery hog on smartphones and other devices. Having Bluetooth enabled all the time not only drains battery life, but can also have security implications.
NFC means that with a simple tap, customers can quickly and easily have information at their fingertips without having to download or open any additional apps.