Why QR Codes are the Clear Winner over NFC for Contactless Payments and Data Sharing?

Posted by Jim Walker

QR Codes and NFC have become the two main technologies for contactless payments and document sharing in this crucial period. However, NFC still needs physical contact due to its very short range for digital file sharing and payment transfers. 

When the Coronavirus crisis is at an all time high, it is very vital to avoid physical contact when going out. This is the reason barcode scanner has been a very vital tool as QR codes are known to be more secure than NFC as they can be scanned from farther distance. 

QR Codes vs. NFC

In some circumstances, NFC is considered to be helpful but it cannot beat QR codes in terms of convenience and security. QR codes can be used in different ways and support different devices. They don’t have any limitations related to range and they don’t need physical contact unlike NFC.  

NFC is not supported in all devices 

It goes without saying that some latest smartphones have NFC but all of the devices don’t have this feature. You cannot add NFC tag to your device if your phone doesn’t have this feature inbuilt. You would have to use a smartwatch or other wearables to make mobile payments through NFC.  

On the other side, QR codes can save you from spending hundreds of dollars on a smartwatch and make the process a lot easier. There are several mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay which enable mobile payments by scanning QR codes. You just have to install an app and scan the QR code of the vendor to make payment without any physical contact. 

NFC has very short range

The most annoying issue with NFC is that it has a radius of only 1.5 inches (4 cm). In addition, NFC tags are placed in various areas of your device. So, you need to rub and touch the devices together to transfer data. So, NFC is very much useless these days as it can spread infection with the touch of contaminated surfaces. 

On the other side, QR code is a completely contactless technology which doesn’t need you to get your smartphone in contact with contaminated surfaces. You can scan QR codes from a distance and easily maintain social distancing. You can scale up QR codes as large as required. Keep in mind that you use a high quality image of QR code and its resolution should be at least 2×2 cm or devices couldn’t read it.  

Compatibility issues 

Another worst thing is that NFC is not compatible with all devices. NFC is also adversely affected when a user updates their device. It is also not prepared for convenient and universal transfer of digital data. On the other side, QR codes are universally accepted and they don’t need any specific device to work. All you need to open your payment app and tap on the barcode scan option and you can easily handle the whole transaction.

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