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QR Code Vs NFC: Choose Wisely

Today, businesses primarily focus on customer experience, both offline and online. And why not? Experts believe that customer experience will soon become the primary factor in buying decisions.

So two technologies have come to the forefront in optimizing customer experience. These are QR Codes and NFCs. And that makes sense!

What’s the most convenient way to engage the smartphone-engrossed customers today? Their phones, right?

Both these technologies use smartphones for their operations.

Hence, many people often wonder which one among the two is better? Well, this article will help you analyze the same. But before we get started, here’s a quick brief about both QR Code technology and NFC.

QR Codes are 2D barcodes that can store information and are easily scannable with a smartphone. And the best part is they are quick, efficient, and contactless.

On the other hand, Near Field Communication (NFC), is an electronic method for phones and other devices to interact with each other within close proximity. It usually works for a radius of about 4 cm.

In fact, that’s not where it ends. In this article, we’ll see twelve differences for QR Code vs NFC.

A. Five differences between QR Codes and NFCs

Let’s now get started with a detailed analysis of the two:

1. Ease of accessibility

While new smartphones come with NFC tags, many old ones lack them. If your phone doesn’t have one, it is impossible to use NFC.

On the other hand, most smartphones today come with an in-built QR Code scanner. In fact, for some phones that don’t, can still install free third-party QR Code scanning apps.

You have to just open it and hold it in front of the QR Code. You will receive a pop-up notifying that the QR Code has been scanned.

QR Code scanning

2. Distance and contactless capabilities

NFC technology works for a radius of a mere 4 cm (1.5 in). Furthermore, NFC tags work only when they come in direct contact with another NFC-enabled device.

That’s it. NFC tags on both devices need to directly touch each other to begin data transfer.

But here’s the problem—since the pandemic, people prefer contactless arrangements. This becomes a little problematic with the NFCs.

On the other hand, QR Codes can easily overcome both the challenges under question.

QR Codes can be scanned from a distance. That’s right. They can be scanned even from far away, provided the size and quality of the image is good.

The suitable QR Code size depends on its distance from the scanner.

For example, a QR Code that’s 2cm X 2cm in size, won’t be scannable from 100 cm away.

Sounds fair, right? But you cannot rely on guesstimates all the time. So, for your convenience, you can calculate the right size of the QR Code via a basic rule.

The ratio of scanning distance to the QR Code’s size should be close to 10:1. That means if a QR Code is to be scanned from 100 cm away, it must be at least 10 cm wide.

Also, since you don’t need to touch your phone with the QR Code to get a scan, QR Codes are a contactless alternative. That’s why they emerged among the instrumental technologies during the pandemic.

3. Hassle-free data sharing

NFC is not a universal technology. As mentioned above, not all devices have NFC technology. But that’s just the half-truth.

The other half is that NFC has problems with sharing files. For example, say you are trying to files in different formats with someone. Here, both of you have different smartphones.

In this case, there is a probability of facing issues with file-sharing. Moreover, when phones get new OS updates, NFC functionality gets affected.

Hence, you can say the NFC doesn’t offer a universal and convenient information transfer.

But QR Codes are different. Invented ahead of NFC, they are quite universal in nature. How?

Well, you know you don’t need any special device to scan QR Codes. All smartphones can scan QR Codes (whether it’s through the native camera or a third-party app).

And the best part is that scanning the QR Code will see the same content irrespective of the device, OS, or browser. Great, right?

4. Data and cyber security

Cyber attacks are growingly becoming a menace. So it becomes important to use technologies that are safe for both you and your customers. But NFCs have major security issues such as:

  • Eavesdropping: Under it, criminals can intercept the signal between two devices. They can use it to steal private data
  • Data corruption or manipulation: Data transferred during an NFC transaction can be corrupted and manipulated. This is done so that the receiver can’t use it
  • Interception attacks: In this attack, an NFC data transfer is rerouted to a tool that it wasn’t intended for. Here, someone can act as a middleman between two NFC devices. They can then receive and alter the data to be shared between the two devices

However, you don’t need to worry about them with QR Codes. Why?

Well, QR Codes are way more secure than NFC. That’s because there is no chance of eavesdropping, data manipulation, or interception attacks. Why?

Because only the ones scanning the QR Code control how they view the content. Hence, you don’t need to worry about anything.

5. Offline to online (O2O) transitions

NFCs can only work with two electronic devices having NFC tags. But on the other hand, QR Codes can work via both print and digital channels.

That’s right. You can print QR Codes on newspapers, billboards, and magazines. Customers can scan them to view the encoded content digitally.

That means QR Codes act as a bridge between offline and online media. That’s why many marketers use them to make the most of their print media campaigns.

QR Code for O2O marketing

B. How to create QR Codes

Now you have understood the difference between QR Code vs NFC. And if you’d like to get started with QR Codes, you’ll need to know how to create them. Well, there are multiple ways to do it, here’s how:

1. Create QR Codes one by one

If your use case doesn’t require hundreds or thousands of QR Codes, this is your way to go. You just need a QR Code generator to get started here.

This option shall give you various QR Code categories to choose from. For example, Document QR Code, Website URL QR Code, Rich Text QR Code, etc.

Here, you can create both static and dynamic QR Codes. To get started, you simply have to follow this step-by-step guide.

2. Create QR Codes in bulk

If you need hundreds or thousands of QR Codes, then go for this option.

Here, a bulk QR Code generation service such as QR Batch will make your work easy. It will help you create up to 100,000 static QR Codes in one go.

To generate them, you just must upload a file with the data to be encoded in the QR Codes in XLX, CSV, or XLSX formats. For more information, you can check out this detailed guide.

And if you want to generate dynamic QR Codes in bulk, you can refer to this guide on how to do it.

3. Create QR Codes programmatically

Say you want to integrate QR Code generation into your own system. Then, QR Code API can help you out.

It allows you to create static QR Codes programmatically in real-time. Hence, there’s no manual work involved in creating QR Codes.

If you’re still reading, you’ve learned everything about QR Code Vs NFC. You can now make an informed decision before getting started with either of the two for your use case.

In case you want to know how to use QR Codes for marketing purposes, here is a quick guide to get you started.


QR Code Vs NFC

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By Danish Koul

Danish, our wordsmith, loves writing engaging content and staying updated on technology. During his leisure time, he enjoys cooking, reading manga, and watching football.

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