NFC (Near Field Communication) tags are used in almost every mobile device and IoT device that has a mobile app. From your smart home devices to your car, your NFC tags can be used for anything that has an app. Even if you’re not a fan of the tag’s original purpose, many of these alternate uses of NFC tags make them far more useful than they originally were.
Have you ever used an app on your phone and wished you could use another app to send a text, check the weather, or buy something? You can do that with an NFC tag. Here are seven unique uses for NFC tags that you probably didn’t know you had.
NFC stands for Near Field Communication, but what you might not know is that the technology that’s found on nearly every cell phone can also be used in many different ways.
Like many other technologies, NFC has been used for a variety of different purposes. The technology is most commonly used in mobile payments, but it’s also something that’s being used in other exciting ways. We’ve compiled a list of 6 unique uses for NFC tags that you might not have known about.
6 Unique Uses for NFC Tags
NFC technology has become something of a hippie tech trend these days. The interoperability of wireless standards has ensured that NFC tags can be used in almost any device that has an NFC sensor, be they smartphones, tablets, or even things like loyalty cards and payment terminals. This has opened up an entire world of possibilities, especially for those who want to take part in the burgeoning NFC community but don’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment. With so many uses for NFC tags, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some unique uses for the technology — think of them as unique advantages you can enjoy without spending a fortune on equipment.
Track your purchases
One of the most useful uses for NFC tags is to track purchases you make with the technology. By putting a single tag into almost any device with an NFC sensor, you can track everything from the card number and balance to the cost of the item and where it was purchased. Many products now have free app functionality for this purpose, such as the Apple Pay or Android Pay functionality on smartphones. This can be a really handy way to keep tabs on what you’re spending money on. You can see at a glance how much you’ve spent on groceries, gas, or clothes without having to remember which purchases each one is associated with.
Pay with your phone
One of the most basic uses of NFC tags is to pay with a phone. This is particularly useful if you’re not near a payment terminal and would rather use your phone to pay rather than going through a third-party app. You can set up multiple accounts with different phone numbers for this purpose, making it easy to track all your spending by going to the website and entering your cards information. Most modern operating systems have built-in support for this, including Android, iOS, and Windows.
Find your lost items
Another great use for NFC tags is to let you track your lost or stolen items. Most smartphone operating systems have a feature that will help you trace a phone call or text message. If you get a call or text message from someone who doesn’t recognize the number, you can easily see whose number it is by looking at the phone itself. If the item is still inside your phone, you can easily track it using the Find my phone feature. If the item is on the ground or has been sent to the lost property office, you can file a report with the company that made the device and they will help you trace it.
Pay with a loyalty card
If you belong to a loyalty program, you might want to put your cards number on the back of each card so that you don’t forget which bank account you’re using. This makes it really easy to track your spending across different cards and find any inconsistencies. You can also track your purchases using the loyalty card website with the same functionality. If you have many different card brands and organizations, it can be pretty helpful to have a separate piece of tag that’s associated with each card. This way, you don’t have to keep looking in two different places.
Pay using an app
Apps are another great way to use NFC tags. There are tons of free apps for both iOS and Android that let you link your credit or debit card to your banking app so that you can see real-time balance, track your spending, and make payment requests from anywhere in the world. Make sure you’re signing up for the correct account though, as some banks will only give you access to certain apps. Some apps will only work with certain banks, so make sure you’re joining the right club. There are also plenty of free online banking apps that you can use instead.
Now that you know some of the unique uses for NFC tags, you’ll probably want to track down some so you can use them more often. There are lots of different types of tags to choose from, so make sure you pick the right one for your purposes. There are lots of great uses for NFC tags, so don’t be shy about asking your favorite friends to give you some to use. The more uses a tag has, the more likely it will end up in a bunch of stuff.