NFC (Near Field Communication) is a type of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Printed NFC Antennas have various advantages during the process of making electronic systems easily integrated, lightweight, cost-effective, robust, and mobile.
Near-field communication technology allows two devices to communicate wirelessly. The technology can be embedded in a small tag to facilitate data transfer between nearby mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and other electronics. NFC tags design is often compared to RFID, but the two are different.
The RIFD technology (radio-frequency identification) is the predecessor of NFC. RFID tags are most commonly known for anti-theft systems attached to the more expensive products in stores. RIFD has been successfully used to track inventory in a variety of sectors and industries, e.g., manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, or apparel — wherever there’s a need to track items.
NFC is part RFID (radio-frequency identification) and part Bluetooth. Unlike RFID, NFC tags work nearby, giving users more precision. NFC also doesn’t require manual device discovery and synchronization like Bluetooth Low Energy. The biggest difference between RFID and NFC is the communication method.
RFID tags have only a one-way communication method, meaning an RFID-enabled item sends a signal to an RFID reader.
NFC devices have a one- and two-way communication capability, which gives the NFC technology an upper hand in use cases where transactions are dependent on data from two devices (e.g., card payments). Mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and other contactless payment solutions are all powered by NFC technology.
So, RFID tags are great for inventory tracking and NFC tags work well for enhanced communication.
NFC popularity soared when companies recognized NFC as an enabler of a contactless future.
NFC offers many opportunities for companies that want to digitize experiences or facilitate access. Businesses all over the globe are using NFC for several use cases and applications.
Contactless payments are the most prominent use case for NFC technology.
NFC makes transactions easy, secure, and fast features coveted by consumers and businesses.
NFC-enabled devices have fueled the contactless payment revolution, especially post-COVID.
Consumers don’t need to input anything extra (PIN or signatures) for small transactions. Plus, NFC is a more secure way to pay — transactions happen instantly and users don’t have to hand over their cards with sensitive information on them.
Google Pay is a prominent example of a contactless payment solution based on NFC. The app powers contactless payments to millions of consumers globally via their smartphones.
An NFC-enabled smartphone can be used as a ticket for concerts, movie shows, or even transit. Many businesses, operators, and even public transportation services have added NFC technology to their ticketing operations.
NFC-enabled devices work by generating digital access tokens that people use to get on a bus or metro without needing to top up their SmarTrip cards. Payments will be made automatically using Apple Pay or Google Pay.
NFC can be used to identify team members and people who access select areas or floors. People can use their smartphones to open doors at the office — no separate access card necessary for identification and access control.
Benefits of NFC for Business
Secure, standardized, and regulated technology
NFC data exchange occurs only between devices nearby. Nearby connection limited to one device protects the transaction from remote jacking by a hacker.
NFC connections are regulated by standard protocols like ISO/IEC 14443 A, ISO/IEC 14443 B, and JIS X6319-4. ECMA International, ETSI, and other authorities make sure that NFC is universally secure and accessible across device vendors.
Improved Customer Service
As the technology grows, more merchants will find themselves moving toward NFC technology for completing their transactions.
By placing NFC tags in product displays, a customer can wave his smartphone over it to learn more about a product or service that catches his interest.
NFC would allow customers to pre-load coupons into their smartphones or collect store reward points automatically. Having everything in one place means a customer never misses an opportunity for savings because he forgot a coupon or his rewards card at home. Cashiers no longer have to scan separate coupons or type in complex discounts, thus reducing customer wait time.
Convenient and affordable technology
NFC tags are an easy and affordable technology that can help in digital transformation — contactless payments, access control, and identification can significantly improve customer and employee experience in their daily activities.
For instance, you can use NFC to enable contactless access to your gym, health center, or office. Users can download your custom mobile app to pay for their membership and then use the smartphone to access the facility.
Reduced carbon footprint
NFC is an eco-friendly solution that can minimize the carbon footprint of any business. Recyclable NFC tags made using paper reduce the use of plastic for access cards.
No need for network connectivity
NFC tags can work without Wi-Fior LTE connectivity. Users can pay, transfer data, access areas, and use NFC-enabled services even while they’re disconnected from the internet.
Real-time updates are vital in the fast-paced business world.
NFC tags allow employees to check in at their current locations and record time spent on the clock and time spent on break. Knowing where employees are is important for a manager to keep the store operating smoothly. As employees move on to new tasks, they can update what they’ve finished and where they’re at.
Tracking employees and reading updated notes from staff or managers can occur through the use of NFC. Managers can track employees instantly to provide more efficient scheduling throughout the day.
Printed NFC Reader Tags – Customized Design and System Integration
Reid Print Technologies provides customizable provisions to its customers based on their required dimensions of overall size, length, and width of the tag. For the desired dimensions, using our printing expertise, they will determine the number of printed turns, the printed trace width, and the gap between the traces. Thus, obtaining the desired Inductance with good quality factor for resonance matching purposes with enough range.
Reid Print Technologies have screen-printed reader antennas of various types and sizes on different substrates based on the requirements, and design needs of their customers.
NFC reader antennas play an important role to communicate with the NFC TAG, or with another NFC device. Thus, the communication range must be achieved through Q-factor enhancements.
Additionally, through the tuning or matching circuit, the antenna communicates with the desired reader controllers available from different companies based on the needs of the customer’s applications. Therefore, Reid Print Technologies strive to provide printing solutions by being in regular and long-term communication with their customers.