Skip to content

Can I use NFC tags with CliqTags, and if so how?

Click for larger

You sure can. CliqTags is inherently NFC compatible by using very short URLs for access to content. Sites created in CliqTags behave exactly the same whether accessed via QR Codes, SMS, NFC or any other method.


NFC defined

NFC (Near Field Communication) is a specialization/extension of RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) for specifically mobile devices, and primarily mobile phones. It can be used for information retrieval, payments (provided infrastructure for that), personal identification, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth configuration etc.

A smartphone uses weak radio communication over a few centimeters to read out information from an NFC tag, that essentially is an antenna with an information chip, that can be configured to store any information, provided it’s brief.

The phone sends out a signal that powers the chip, enough for it to send back its stored information. As tags have no batteries (usually), it’s possible to provide them in many different form factors, including very thin or small, as self-adhesive stickers, as badges, credit card sized etc, as seen in the picture.

The data stored in the tag can be interpreted as plain text, links, SMSs, e-mail etc by the mobile phone in a standardized way.

Benefits v. QR codes

  • User-friendly and Touchless: NFC tags offer a touchless experience, allowing users to simply tap their mobile devices against the tag to access information or perform a specific action. Unlike QR codes that require users to scan the code using their smartphone camera, NFC tags are more intuitive and require less effort from the user.
  • Faster and More Efficient: NFC tags provide quick and seamless communication between the tag and the mobile device. The response time is almost instant, requiring minimal waiting. In contrast, QR codes can take longer to scan, especially if the code is damaged or not positioned correctly. NFC tags offer a more efficient user experience in terms of speed and ease of use.
  • Enhanced Security: NFC tags can be hidden as well as write protected, so that they can’t be tampered with. You can simply put another label on top of a QR code or damage it.

NFC in mobile marketing

Put NFC tags on posters, on shopping windows, at bus stops etc, and have users access whatever information you want to convey.

As the NFC tag doesn’t have to be visible, you are in complete control of the printed information on top of the NFC tag. Especially if you use the self-adhesive ones and put them behind posters. Then the only thing a user sees is a printed call-to-action message, like “Tap to Win” etc, framed in an attractive way.

Data space

NFC tags can store from around 100 bytes and up, depending on chip.

Yet, when used with CliqTags, all NFC tags work well, as a CliqTags link is very short (20-30 bytes), depending on the length of the site ID and a possible tracking ID.

Getting hold of tags

In small volumes NFC tags are from $1. In volume they can go below $1. Stickers are less expensive than badges.

We recommend those with NTAG chips for maximum compatibility.

See e.g. these sites for a very broad range of NFC tags, in terms of form factors, environmental protection, fastening methods etc:

See e.g. ShopNFC – NFC Starter Kits for samples of tags for evaluation.

You can also order configuration of content as well as custom printing (depending on tag model).

Configuring tags

For small-volume applications you can install CliqTags NFC Writer that is specifically designed for use with CliqTags and that makes configuring tags very easy. See the picture for how it works:

Click to enlarge

For volume applications you can order NFC tags with pre-configured content.

Phone compatibility

Both Android and iOS support reading NFC tags natively, and act on the content, in the case of CliqTags a URL that opens the site pointed to.

In the case of Android it’s been around for a long time, but you might have to activate it in Settings.

In the case of iOS it’s been available since iOS version 14, and from iPhone 7 and forward. See here for how to use NFC tags on an iOS device: How To Read NFC Tags With An iPhone

It’s recommended to combine at least NFC, QR and a written URL in the same context and for the same information, to maximize the chances users see your content. Writing out the URL as well as the purpose increases confidence.

Comments are closed.