Near-field communication (NFC)

Near-field communication (NFC) is a wireless connectivity standard for short-range communication between electronic devices. NFC uses magnetic field induction to transfer data between devices. The technology works over a distance of less than 4 cm. It involves an initiator and a target. The initiator generates a radio frequency field that powers the target. Because of this, the target can be really small, like a sticker or a card.

The most known use of NFC is contactless payment. The payment terminal is the initiator and the client’s card or phone is the target. Google Pay, Apple Pay and other contactless payment systems involving smartphones and watches use this technology.

In the automotive industry, NFC is used in digital keys. The user can put their smart device against or near a door handle to unlock it.

Compared to Bluetooth Low Energy, NFC operates at a slower speed and has a shorter range. The latter makes it more secure and suitable for crowded places.