When people start a new business, one of the first items on their checklist is making a business card. Indeed, business cards are the mainstay of successful businesses, enabling networking, outreach marketing, and brand representation.
But let’s be honest: business cards are a hassle. They’re expensive to make, have limited space for text, and are easily misplaced by the receiver.
Hence, the popularity of traditional business cards is swiftly dwindling.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, approximately 7 billion business cards were printed annually. During the pandemic, however, business card sales dropped by 70%. These statistics show that putting your business’s contact information on a piece of paper no longer suffices in a world of digital data.
Eventually, sales began to rebound. However, these weren’t traditional business cards but NFC business cards. These novel business cards utilise wireless communication technology, streamlining professional and business networking.
But before we talk more about NFC business cards, let’s understand what NFC technology is and how it works.
What is NFC Technology?
If you’ve ever used an identification card to open an automatic door or made mobile payments, you’re already utilising NFC technology.
NFC stands for near-field communication, and it is more prevalent than you realise, with most smartphones today equipped with NFC technology. In addition, some tablets, speakers, collectibles, and gaming consoles utilise NFC technology.
Introduced in the early 2000s, NFC enables short-range wireless data exchange between two devices in close proximity to each other (not more than 4 cm). For example, when you hover your identification card over a door sensor, the card communicates to the sensor that you are authorised to enter the premises. Once the sensor receives this data from your card, the door opens.
The sensor can recognise your card via an NFC tag on the card, which is a small data-containing chip typically incorporated into stickers, magnets, or labels.
Some common applications of NFC tags are as follows:
- Making contactless mobile payments through services like Google Pay or Apple Pay.
- Opening a website without typing in the URL
- Locking/ unlocking your door
- Sharing photos and videos with another smartphone with a simple tap of the two devices
- Connecting to a new WiFi without typing in the password
- Automating common phone tasks like sound settings or switching to driving mode.
However, the most rapidly rising use of NFC tags is NFC business cards.
What are NFC Business Cards?
NFC technology digitalises your traditional business cards through NFC tags, creating NFC business cards. NFC business cards allow you to share and save your contact information directly on the receiver’s phone. All it takes is a single tap.
So, how does it work?
The major component of an NFC business card is an NFC tag. You can upload your contact information on this tag by using an NFC tag writing app.
When the receiver’s smartphone comes in contact with the tag, the phone executes a desired action, such as saving the contact information or opening your company’s website. Through the tag writing app, you can customise and specify what action(s) you want to be performed.
There are two variants of NFC business cards:
- The first variant permanently encodes your contact information in the NFC tag. This information is automatically saved to the receiver’s address book upon contact.
- The second variant creates a digital business card. When the receiver taps their phone on the physical card, the digital business card pops up on their screen, and the receiver can take whatever action they desire. This variant allows the business card owner to update and change their digital business card information.
As you can imagine, this transformative technology opens many doors for entrepreneurs looking to make new connections.
Advantages and Disadvantages of NFC Business Cards
The booming popularity of NFC business cards is a testament to their many advantages. NFC business cards benefit their users by:
- Allowing quick and efficient transfer of contact details and other information related to your business
- Ensuring that contact details are not lost or misplaced by the recipient.
- Allowing photographers, digital artists, graphic designers, etc., to add a link to their portfolio.
- Providing map details and location directions of your office/store to your customers and business partners.
- Allowing you to change the content of your digital business card, saving you the hassle of making new business cards.
- Using more durable and visually appealing materials such as PVC or PET.
- Appearing more professional and tech-savvy to customers and potential business partners.
- Saving costs by minimising the number of business cards you need to print and hand out. One NFC business card can transfer your contact information to hundreds of people.
Despite all their advantages, however, NFC business cards still fall short in some ways:
- The NFC business card but be in super close proximity to the recipient’s smartphone (not more than 4 cm).
- There are hidden costs to purchasing an NFC business card, which is already quite costly.
- Not all NFC business cards allow you to change or update the content of your card at a later time.
- Since an NFC business card is still a physical card, it can easily get lost, stolen, or misplaced.
Will NFC Business Cards Replace Traditional Business Cards?
Given the increasing popularity of NFC business cards and the clear upper hand they have over their traditional counterparts, you might wonder whether the former will edge out the latter.
Traditional business cards have actually been out of vogue for a while now. The Covid pandemic accelerated this phenomenon, with business owners switching to digital alternatives such as NFC business cards.
However, traditional business cards are still quite relevant among many professionals. Not everyone is tech-savvy, and some people still prefer ink and paper over digital mediums.
Hence, the increasing popularity of NFC technology doesn’t mean the death of traditional business cards— at least not in the near future. Instead, NFC business cards will dominate the entrepreneurial scene, while traditional business cards will act as a fallback.
How to Get NFC Business Cards
There are two ways to get an NFC business card: buying a pre-made NFC card and making your own.
Making your own NFC card is cost-effective and surprisingly simple. If you already have a business card, all you need to do is purchase an NFC tag and attach it to the card. Otherwise, you can purchase a pre-made NFC business card which will save you all the additional steps.
The only thing left to do is set up your NFC tag and upload your contact information. When you purchase a card or tag, you’ll typically be given free access to an NFC writing app, which you can use to upload the information you want.
The amount of information you can upload varies from tag to tag, with some having more storage than others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about NFC business cards.
How does an NFC card work?
NFC business cards work through NFC tags, a technology that enables communication between two devices via short-range radio waves.
The NFC tag contains data that you can customise and share with other people with a simple tap.
Can iPhones use NFC business cards?
All iPhone models after the iPhone 7 are equipped with NFC technology. In fact, all new smartphone models are NFC-compatible. However, older models may or may not have NFC technology.
You can check whether your phone is NFC-compatible by going to your phone settings and searching for “NFC.” If there are no results, then your phone isn’t NFC-compatible.
How do I know if a card is NFC?
You’ll know a card is NFC-capable through the presence of the NFC logo located anywhere on the card.
NFC technology is the future of business cards, allowing business professionals to share contact information in new and transformative ways.
NFC business cards allow business owners and entrepreneurs to wirelessly share their contact information, office directions and store locations, and even online portfolios with a single tap.
Hence, NFC business cards enable more efficient networking and brand marketing.