What NFC does
NFC (Near Field Communication) is the technology behind “tap to pay” contactless payment.
Its design conforms to an international standard that features very close proximity (>2cm or one inch) and in most cases does not require a battery “harvesting” it’s power from the connecting device. The NFC Forum is the governing body of the standard and a compliance program that ensures the reliability and interoperability of connections.
Where you'll find NFC
The core attributes of NFC makes it suitable for an ever increasing variety of use cases. And it’s ultra-low cost makes it possible for the technology to be built into most anything.
While you most often use NFC with your mobile phone, more and more form factors include NFC technology like:
Tablets and their accessories
Affixed to syringes and prescription bottles
Jewelry, such as rings
Affordable “tags” made into apparel
NFC is also compatible with hundreds of millions of contactless cards and readers already deployed worldwide which means all you have to do is tap.
NFC & Other Wireless Technologies
Today there are many different wireless technologies that have replaced cable-based connections. Each are primarily differentiated by range, speed, power requirements, and security attributes. Using these factors, industries determine the applicability of each technology for hundreds of different use cases.
NFC is most suitable for ultra-short range (>2cm or one inch), low-latency startup, connect and transfer where only one side of the connection needs power. And unique to NFC, connections can exchange data or power. For the technically savvy, NFC Forum specifications operate in the 13.56 MHz band of unlicensed spectrum. Power harvesting has a maximum of 1w.
As a complementary wireless technology it can be implemented to work with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices. It is often found along side Ultrawideband (UWB) and provides easy connectivity by other initiatives like Matter for the internet of things.