NFC Business Cards – Can They Replace Real Ones?
Business cards are an integral part of professional and personal networking. But let’s be honest: everything about them is a hassle. They are expensive and frustrating to print and update, and there is too little space to cover all the essential details.
And when you collect these physical cards after a networking event, they just end up clutter in your office or even your home.
In the digital age, modern substitutes for physical business cards have become incredibly popular.
The emergence of near-field communication (NFC) business cards has done away with the restrictions in space that traditional business cards are infamous for. They are also much easier to update and distribute than physical cards.
Do you want to know more about NFC business cards? Join us as we discuss them in detail below, including how they work and their pros and cons.
What Is NFC Technology?
NFC, or near-field communication, refers to the international transmission standard that enables wireless data exchange. NFC technology allows two devices—such as your NFC card and your smartphone—to communicate with each other when they are within a certain distance.
NFC is a subset of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, popularly used to identify objects via radio waves.
It has been used for decades for scanning purchases in stores, luggage on baggage claims, warehousing, tracking goods in transit, and even tagging cattle.
Introduced in the early 2000s, NFC technology uses a specific RFID frequency (13.56 MHz) to enable close-range communications.
And one of the most common uses of NFC technology is identification cards used to enter office buildings and other limited-access areas.
Unlike Bluetooth or RFID, NFC technology has a short range: only four to ten centimeters. This means NFC devices must be close to each other to exchange data through electromagnetic induction that depends on RFID technology.
Today, NFC has become ubiquitous in many industries and spheres.
How Is NFC Technology Used to Create New-Generation Business Cards?
NFC technology allows two devices to communicate wirelessly when they are within four to ten centimeters. A simple touch will enable links to be shared to a smartphone, including contact details, social media handles, restaurant menus, and more.
When embedded in business cards, NFC technology allows users to tap their cards to a recipient’s smartphone to send contact information and other important business details.
NFC business cards use an NFC tag, a small memory chip with a spirally rolled-up antenna. It has a storage capacity of 168 to 2,048 bytes, allowing the user to store a lot of information.
An NFC tag can also be personalized per the user’s individual needs, making it highly customizable.
It has two variants:
- The contact details are stored in the code to be copied directly to the address book on a smartphone after scanning.
- The code connects to a digital business card. You can use the contact information directly and reach out with a single click or add the details in the Contacts app on your smartphone.
The first variant has a few disadvantages in that once you store the data on the chip, you can no longer change it later. Individual branding is not possible on this type of NFC business card, and it can be difficult to establish contact with social networks.
Advantages and Disadvantages of NFC Business Cards
Benefits of NFC Business Cards
NFC business cards come with many benefits, which is why they have become so popular in the business community.
Here is a list of the pros of using an NFC business card:
- Allows the quick, contactless transfer of contact details
- Ensures that details are not lost or misplaced
- Enables users to add their portfolio link to their NFC business card
- Quickly and easily change contact details at a later date
- Users can add map details of an office address
- Shows potential customers that users are technologically adept
- Allows customers to use discounts digitally
- Provides more durability and flexibility as it is not made of physical material
Disadvantages of NFC Business Cards
Despite all their advantages, NFC business cards have some downsides that you should not overlook.
- Requires the card and the recipient’s smartphone to be close to each other
- Still requires a physical business card
- It comes with hidden costs as you are paying a premium for the card along with shipping and handling fees
- Some NFC cards do not allow data to be changed afterward
- Can get lost, stolen, or misplaced
How Does NFC Compare to Traditional Business Cards?
NFC business cards offer many features and benefits that traditional business cards do not.
Let’s take a look at how they compare:
Instant Transfer of Contact Details
Unlike a traditional business card, an NFC business card allows you to transfer your contact details to a compatible smartphone in an instant.
You only need an NFC-enabled business card with your contact information and hold it up to a smartphone to make the transfer.
With NFC technology, you no longer have to worry about losing a business opportunity due to a lost card. You will also save your new contact the effort of typing your data into their smartphone.
You can even include your photograph so that your potential clients or business associates can have an easier time remembering who you are.
Change Details Later
If you eventually need to modify your contact details on a traditional business card, you will have to throw away what you have and print new ones—a significant business expense.
In contrast, most NFC cards can be easily modified. You can easily change your information whenever you need to.
NFC cards are usually made of PVC or PET, so they are more durable and look better than paper business cards.
Inclusion of Map Details
You can add map data to your NFC business card to ensure that your customers and business partners don’t get lost on the way to your office or store. You can provide clear directions to your business address, which is a far cry from the simplistic paper business cards.
Present Yourself as a Tech-Savvy Professional
If you belong to an industry that involves cutting-edge technology, using an NFC business card over a traditional one helps you walk the talk. You will surely come across a tech-savvy expert that they can rely on.
Add Your Portfolio Link
If you are a creative professional such as a photographer, digital artist, graphic designer, or in an industry where you must showcase your portfolios to gain work, you can link your NFC business card to your online portfolio.
This will ensure that you never miss a gig or job opportunity again. You can also keep updating the destination of the link so that you can present your latest and best work.
Requires a Physical Card
Despite the many conveniences offered by NFC business cards, you still need to buy and carry around a physical card. You also need to be close to the person with whom you’re sharing your business card.
Lost or Misplaced
Just as paper business cards can be misplaced, NFC business cards can be easily lost or stolen.
While you may have extra copies of your traditional business card somewhere in your office or at home, if you lose an NFC business card, you will have to buy another one and wait for it to arrive in the mail.
This can be a tremendous hassle when you need to attend networking events.
Will NFC Trade Cards Phase Out Traditional Business Cards?
Are NFC business cards the new way forward? Will they make traditional paper business cards obsolete?
The truth is that traditional business cards have not been popular for a few years now. The pandemic only made this fact more pronounced, with more and more business professionals shifting to modern alternatives such as NFC business cards.
But this does not mean the death of physical business cards. There are still many professionals who use and distribute their contact information in the traditional manner.
After all, business cards still come in handy at trade events and other business gatherings, especially for old-school audiences who are not active on social media. For many professionals, the quality of a business card serves as a window to the quality of a business.
However, the wide range of benefits that NFC business cards offer makes them more lucrative and promising in the digital age.
NFC business cards are a great way to share your contact details quickly without the hassle of a traditional business card. Although they may not fully edge out paper cards, they are still a popular networking tool at business and trade events.
Their range of benefits also makes them a powerful solution for all kinds of businesses.