NFC business cards

NFC business cards - Possible variants summarized

Business cards as a personal marketing tool are still an important part of exchanging contact data and establishing contacts. The normal business card has a number of disadvantages. Firstly, the space for information is limited, so that often the choice between an attractive design or detailed information must be made. Secondly, the information applied is quickly outdated, whether it is due to a change of telephone number, office or job title due to a promotion. Thirdly, the card data must first be manually transferred to the smartphone. NFC business cards (NFC-vCard) can provide a solution to these problems by enabling digital data exchange and offering significantly more space for information. The following is an overview of possible variants and a recommendation for the respective application.

NFC-Visitenkarten - Offline vs. Online Variante

There are two basic ways to implement NFC business cards in practice. Variant 1, called offline variant in the following, saves all contact data in electronic business card format directly on the card or the NFC chip. In contrast, the online variant, in which the NFC business card merely contains a reference to the data that is actually online on a mini website. Basically, both variants have in common that, due to the NFC standard, reading the card is sufficient to trigger a corresponding action in the smartphone. The exact differences that arise in practice are explained below.

As the name suggests, the offline NFC business card has the advantage that no Internet connection is required to read out the contact data and import it directly into the smartphone. All contact data is already stored on the card. However, this means that NFC tags with larger storage capacity are required. For example, while a low-cost NTAG213 only allows the specification of a name and a telephone number, the NTAG215 or NTAG216 is already required for more detailed contact data (more about the individual NFC tag types). If a profile picture is to be added in addition, no current NFC tag variant offers enough memory. The advantage of not needing an internet connection is either accepted with less storage space or purchased with more expensive tags.

An NFC business card can be written directly with the smartphone (Android / iPhone, select data type "business card") or also with a Windows operating system (NFC tools software for desktop applications).

The online version only stores an internet address with reference to an online profile on the NFC tag. This online profile can then list the contact data in full detail and is generally not subject to any restrictions in terms of storage space. In addition, inexpensive NFC tags with small storage capacity can be used, which keeps the costs within reasonable limits - after all, there is only a short URL on the NFC tag. Of course, an online connection is required to use this variant of the NFC business card. In addition, a mini website is necessary, which contains the contact details. While the former is practically no longer a problem due to the ever-increasing LTE network coverage (after all, the card can be taken along and scanned later), the latter, the creation of a mini website, may be a greater hurdle. Our NFC-vCard service enables the creation of online business cards and the convenient management of the corresponding data.  

Ultimately, however, it is up to the user to decide which variant is best suited to his or her application. The following video summarizes the above points once again. Regardless of the solution chosen, we show below how the variants can be implemented in practice.

Offline NFC business cards with the NFC21 tool

The NFC21 tool is our solution for easy encoding of NFC tags using USB NFC readers (such as the ACR1252U). The tool offers the option to create a business card and add contact information as desired. After the card has been created, the tool also displays which NFC tag or how much storage space is required for the data. This makes it easy to select the appropriate NFC tag. After encoding, the card can then be read with common smartphones. As an alternative to the NFC21 tool, corresponding Android apps can be used to create and write to the card.

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Describe offline NFC business cards to the smartphone

With the app NFC21 Tools for iOS and the NXP Tag Writer for Android, business cards can be written directly on the smartphone. For this purpose, the data type "business card" must be selected beforehand. In our How2 we describe exactly how this works with an Android smartphone or iPhone. 

Online NFC business cards with

With the portal we offer a possibility to set up the online NFC business card without programming knowledge in only a few steps. For this purpose we offer preconfigured products in our shop, with which you can set up your own business card in only three steps: First, we scan and activate the card delivered by us. Second, we enter your own contact details. Then the card can be used directly. Scanning the card leads to an online profile with all contact data and various advantages. Telephone numbers are directly clickable, the address leads to a map view, logos and profile pictures can be stored. The profile data can be imported locally into the smartphone and last but not least the owner of the card has the possibility to view usage statistics. With the purchase of an NFC vCard, a corresponding access is automatically linked and can be used permanently without any follow-up costs.

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Erstellt: 2020-04-28 / Aktualisiert: 2021-07-05 2020-04-28 2021-07-05