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NFC: Think You Know it? Welcome To NFC-Life!

Updated: Nov 25, 2022

1) Intro To NFC:

Near-field communication (NFC) is a set of communication protocols that enable two electronic devices, one of which is usually a portable device such as a smartphone, to establish communication by bringing them within 4 cm (2 in) of each other.


2) Uses of NFC:

So that’s what NFC is and how it works. But what can it do for you? Why do some smartphone users consider NFC an important feature?

Well as mentioned earlier there are peer-to-peer technologies such as Android- or Samsung Beam, wherein you can share a file or a contact by touching together two smartphones. That’s kind of cool, but hardly a game changer.

nfc VISA

More important is the potential for contactless commerce. If you think about a payment card such as the contactless debit card, then imagine using your phone for this purpose via NFC, you can see the benefit. Or how about using your smartphone instead of your contactless Visa Debit card? You could truly dispense with your wallet, although the dangers of losing your phone are intensified.

Unfortunately at the minute a lot of this is theory. Google Wallet allows consumers to store credit card and store loyalty card information in a virtual wallet and then use an NFC-enabled device at terminals that also accept MasterCard Pay Pass transactions. But do you use Google Wallet?

In the US at least, customers can use Apple Pay with their iPhone, or Korean folks can use Samsung Pay with Galaxy devices.

But it is a Hellish slow process to roll out technology such as this to the wider world. It is not so much of a technical issue, as one of corralling sufficient retailers into investing in the technology.

Companies such as Apple and Samsung are loathe to roll out features that can’t be used, because of the criticism they would encounter.

But it is difficult to convince store owners that brand-specific smartphone-payment systems are useful to them if there is no usage data to back up the argument.

We will get there with smartphone-payment systems that use NFC, but it would take a while. We Are Also Going to Make a Comparison between Apple Pay vs Samsung pay vs Google Wallet.

Other uses for NFC include the passive NFC ‘tags’ that are built into posters and adverts offering additional information or bonus content in much the same way that QR codes have been thrust at us for several years now.

Perhaps NFC will be more popular than QR codes have proved outside of the Far East.

Something that may be similarly culturally specific is NFC in toys. Some games makers have started creating figurines that contain NFC chips. In turn these interact with devices running computer games.

So you can wave your action figure at your smartphone, and get extra lives for that character in a game. It is all quite nascent, but Nintendo’s Amiibo, Sky landers and Disney Infinity figures all exist right now, and work in this way.

The smarter use of NFC is when it is built into a user process. So when you pop your smartphone into a Google Cardboard VR headset, it is the NFC chip that tells the headset to wake up.

Staying in the future other potential uses for NFC include the ability to control devices around your home. Perhaps your house would unlock and the heating and lights go on when your NFC-enabled phone passed a sensor in the driveway.

Currently, these features are more typically controlled via Wi-Fi, but NFC could be more secure and require less power. Marginally less power.

And there are potential social benefits: if everyone had NFC-enabled smartphones swapping contact details would be pretty straightforward. Of course, that may not always be a good thing…!


1) Data Transfer.

2) Device Pairing.

3) Mobile Payments.

4) NFC Tags.

5) NFC Business Cards.


-Some Common FAQ’s

1) Do I need NFC on my phone?

The clue is in the name: Near Field Communications. NFC is a set of standards for portable devices. It allows them to establish peer-to-peer radio communications, passing data from one device to another by touching them or putting them very close together.

2) How do you connect using NFC?

  • Make sure the NFC Easy Connect app is activated or the NFC function of your smartphone is turned on.

  • Make sure the screen of your smartphone is unlocked.

  • Depending on the smartphone you are using, it may not be possible to make a one-touch connection while the smartphone is being charged.

3) How do you turn on NFC?

  • If your device has NFC, the chip and Android Beam need to be activated so that you can use NFC:

  • Go to Settings > More.

  • Tap on the NFC switch to activate it. The Android Beam function will also automatically turn on.

  • If Android Beam does not automatically turn on, just tap it and select yes to turn it on.

4) How do I turn off NFC on my phone?

To disable it, find the “Settings” option and tap on it. From the settings, tap on “More” option and from here you can find the option to turn ON/OFF NFC. Simply remove the check mark to turn OFF Near Field Communication.

5) What is NFC in a speaker?

NFC, short for Near Field Communication, is a short-range wireless RFID technology that makes use of interacting electromagnetic radio fields instead of the typical direct radio transmissions used by technologies such as Bluetooth.

6) What is the NFC icon on my phone?

NFC (Near Field Communication) is a wireless connectivity technology that enables two-way communication between electronic devices. It operates over a distance of a few centimeters. You can share your content with an NFC tag or another NFC support device by simply touching it with your device.

7) Is NFC in your phone important?

Honestly, right now I’d say no. The ability to transfer contacts via touch is nice, but not important. But the potential for NFC is huge.

Ultimately it all comes down to applications in the real world. If ever you can use NFC to make your smartphone your wallet, travel card and home-automation remote control, expect it to be in every phone.

3) Bottom-line:

Honestly, The Presence of NFC The ability to transfer contacts via touch is nice, but not important. But the potential for NFC is huge.

Ultimately it all comes down to applications in the real world. If ever you can use NFC to make your smartphone your wallet, travel card and home-automation remote control, expect it to be in every phone.

And as soon as mobile-phone payments become a thing, NFC will be important. Remember, contactless debit cards didn’t exist a year or two ago.

Now I find myself waving my card at tellers in stores that don’t use contactless, like some sort of massive unstoppable idiot.


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