What is NFC and how does it work?

What is NFC and how does it work?

NFC is known as near field communication. It has become very popular over the years. It is actually a wireless technology for the short range between two electronic devices. Data can be transferred from one device to another without using an Internet connection. But the devices must be placed very close to each other. It is normally used for contactless payment, such as Android Pay and Samsung Pay. The system is almost similar to credit cards or electronic tickets. There are certain protocols for establishing communication. You can also share videos, files, photos, and contacts. Sometimes the device equipped with the NFC function is used as a key card or electronic documents to identify.

See also: What are VPNs and the best VPN services for? 5

establish a connection

For this type of communication, two devices must be placed very short distance away. One is used as a transmission device and the other is used to receive the transmitted signal. The NFC standard is used in a specific range of devices. These can act as an active or passive device. The tags are included in a passive device called NFC tags. Normally, smartphones are the most common active devices.

How did it work?

The principle of operation is almost similar to a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. A radio wave is required to send information. Here, electromagnetic induction is used for transmission. The technology is known as radio frequency identification. In NFC, the frequency 13.56 in megahertz is necessary for the transmission of data. The sending data rate is 424 or 106, 212 kbps. Three functionalities are present in NFC devices.

  • NFC card emulation – for a transaction such as a payment or electronic tickets, smartphones can be used as payment cards.
  • NFC reader / writer – information stored in NFC tags can be read by NFC devices.
  • NFC peer-to-peer – if you need to share or send information from one device to another, this mode is very useful.

Bluetooth and NFC

Many people confuse NFC technology with Bluetooth. NFC requires less power consumption compared to Bluetooth technology. Even the passive device can perform the task without any significant power source. But the transmission door is not very wide in NFC. The Bluetooth door is almost equal X meters or more. The Bluetooth data transmission rate is much higher than NFC. This means that the NFC is slower. NFC connectivity is faster than that of Bluetooth. So NFC always has the upper hand in the mobile payment service.

Benefits of NFC

On some phone models, your debit / credit card details may be stored on the phone. So if you forget to bring the wallet, this feature will help you pay by the mobile wallet.


Door key card information can be stored on your phone. So if you leave your hotel room without the key card, you have nothing to fear. You can enter the room with the information from the key card of your smartphone. In a transportation system, your phone can be used as a ticket or a pass. Just hold your phone near the NFC reader to slide it. By placing two phones close to each other, you can send business cards or information virtually. You can modify or rewrite the data according to your needs. You don't need to print the cards over and over.

The technology is practical, fast and simple. No association or manual configuration is necessary here. It is a versatile solution.

Disadvantages of NFC

One of the main drawbacks is that the range is very limited. In addition, only very small data can be received or sent. So it's not effective all the time. Another concern is the issue of security. There is no 100% guarantee for a secure connection. To introduce NFC technology, all equipment and machinery must be purchased and maintained. This can be costly for a small business or a young business.