What Are NFC Readers Used For?

What Are NFC Readers Used For?

Near Field Communication, also known as NFC, is a form of wireless technology that lets devices communicate with each other. It’s used for everything from ID cards to digital keys at hotels.

An NFC Reader contains a microchip with a coil to transmit data by inductive coupling. Whenever a powered NFC Reader is brought close to an NFC tag, the chip gets energized and sends data.


NFC technology makes it easier to do all sorts of digitized tasks from quickly paying for items on your phone or tablet to connecting your laptop to WiFi with just the tap of a button. But, like any other new digital magic, it has to be guarded against hackers with bad intentions.

NFC can be hacked by eavesdropping at close range to obtain personal data from a mobile device or corrupting/manipulating the data that is transferred between a chip in an NFC-enabled card and a reader. Criminals are constantly developing new ways to gain unauthorized access so it’s important for business owners to stay aware of these risks and protect themselves accordingly.

Fortunately, NFC payments are one of the most secure methods of payment since customers must initiate the contactless transaction by activating an app on their phone to start the process. Additionally, many NFC apps use fingerprint scanning technology and private pass codes to verify transactions.

Another way to safeguard your NFC system is to utilize dual-interface tags that can communicate with a microcontroller through a wired interface while simultaneously communicating with NFC readers via the wireless link. This helps to provide more security for your NFC solution by making it less vulnerable to eavesdropping or NFC Readers signal interference. These types of NFC tags can also store more data – important metrics for tracking the activity of employees and guests in and around your building.

Access Control

NFC is great from a user standpoint as it allows people to use their smartphone as an access credential device. It also reduces admin time & costs involved in replacing lost cards or issuing temporary ones. Additionally, the reduced activation range makes duping or hacking credentials more difficult than other contactless technologies like RFID.

When the NFC reader energizes the tag with its electromagnetic field, it sends out a signal to the connected mobile device. That mobile device can then either send back a request to a server to authenticate the user, or it can perform the action requested, whether that be unlocking an access door or communicating with a bank server for payment or to a turnstile for transport.

Unlike NFC tags, which can only transmit data within a few inches of the reader (meaning they are vulnerable to eavesdropping), smartphones are equipped with cryptography systems that encrypt and authenticate information sent over the wireless connection, making them more secure.

NFC readers are able to transmit this information instantly, which is a huge advantage for the end user. NXP’s high-performance NFC reader ICs support both MIFARE and FeliCa solutions, as well as EMVCo 3.1a terminals. This means they can be used in a wide range of applications, including access control, pairing, IoT, brand protection and product configuration.


NFC readers enable mobile payments with the tap of a card, phone or wearable. This is ideal for brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce brands NFC Readers expanding into physical retail and food trucks, as well as healthcare professionals like dentists and therapists.

A key security benefit is that NFC uses a cryptographic protocol to secure transactions. This makes it impossible for a thief to intercept data or make unauthorized purchases on a stolen device unless the device is password protected.

When a customer holds a contactless NFC card or phone against an NFC reader, the tokens communicate with each other using the specific frequency we talked about earlier. They exchange encrypted data packets to complete the transaction – which takes a fraction of the time of magstripe and chip cards, and is leagues faster than cash.

Adding NFC payments to your point-of-sale system doesn’t cost any more than accepting standard dipped credit cards. It’s a one-time investment that pays for itself quickly by streamlining the checkout process, keeping sales data synced across devices and making your business more efficient.

Whether you use Square’s mobile contactless and NFC payment reader or another brand, you can connect it to your smartphone or tablet through Bluetooth LE (no headset jack required) and run a full point-of-sale app for seamless payments on the go. NFC is a great way to provide convenient payment options for all your customers and boost your reputation as a customer-centric retailer.

Industry Specific

NFC Readers are used in a variety of industries to help with security, access control and payment. Some examples are boarding passes for flights and security entry, or keyless access to offices, buildings or cars. With the current trend of mobile commerce and a desire for businesses to offer enhanced customer experience, NFC technology is increasingly being used in a range of industry applications.

When it comes to NFC payments, many people use smartphones as a contactless form of payment. The technology is used when a phone is tapped against an NFC Reader, which then functions as a virtual credit or debit card. This is a popular use of NFC because it’s convenient and fast.

Another popular use of NFC is in anti-tampering systems. These are integrated into sealed products and allow customers to view the condition of a product, such as its moisture or fill level, by scanning it with their smartphone.

Some NXP-made NFC circuits also come with password lock features, which prevent the Tags from being rewritten by anyone other than those who know the password. This is useful when the Chips will be left in public places that can be accessed by lots of different people.

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