Processing 101: What is NFC? What can it do for my business?

What is NFC?

What does NFC stand for? The acronym stands for NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATION.

Have you ever wondered what makes tap-and-go services like Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Amiibo work? It seems like magic, but it’s not.

How does NFC work?

The tech involved is deceptively simple. Evolved from radio frequency identification (RFID) tech, an NFC chip operates as one part of a wireless link. Once it’s activated by another chip, small amounts of data between the two devices can be transferred when held a few centimeters from each other

So what is it exactly? Simply put, it’s a method of wireless data transfer that detects and then enables technology in close proximity to communicate without the need for an internet connection. It’s easy, fast and works automatically. At its core, NFC works to identify us by our enabled cards and devices.

How can I use NFC?

Frankly, the answer is you use it with your smart phone. NFC makes your smart phone into a digital wallet that makes paying for goods and services a fast. efficient way to do business. Google wallet, Apple Pay are the more popular ways that consumers are familiar with, but soon there will be an endless amount of options that will include you and your ability to pay no matter who you bank with.Whichever device you have, it’s likely that a local supermarket, train station, taxi or coffee shop supports contactless payments via your phone’s NFC chip. Go try it out! Simply hold it close to a contactless payment terminal and instantly, like swiping a credit card, the payment will complete.

Do I have NFC?

Interested in giving NFC a shot? First, you need to find out if your device is compatible with contactless payment terminals and passive NFC tags detailed above.

The good news? The list of compatible devices is staggering and growing with time. It’s safe to say, if you’ve purchased a smartphone in the last year or two, you should be ready to go. A few examples of recent NFC-equipped smartphones: Nexus 6, Sony Xperia Z3,iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, LG G3, HTC One M9.

You’ll probably also be in good shape if you’ve bought a tablet recently. TheGoogle Nexus 9, iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 each have the capability out of the box.

Looking forward, NFC chips will also be in more smartwatches and fitness trackers. Apple is including NFC support in its Apple Watch so that users can pay for goodies using Apple Pay with a tap of the wrist. Here are a few videos showing NFC.

NFC technology is something every business will have to have. Why wait for your competition to get ahead of you? Let me show you how I can set you up for success by taking advantage of this for your business. Contact me at, or craiglvann@gmail.

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