NFC versus Bluetooth

NFC versus QR Codes

NFC or Near Field Communication has been compared to both QR codes and Bluetooth a number of times. This article will compare and contrast NFC with both QR codes and Bluetooth by discussing about the pros and cons of each.

Pros and cons of NFC over Bluetooth

A NFC device and a Bluetooth enabled device both use short range communication and their range is limited. However, they are not the same. Below are the pros and cons of an NFC device over Bluetooth:


1.       Seamless payment method

To make payments with your NFC device, all you have to do it tap it to the cash register and enter the amount and you are done. It is also more secure. You don't have to enter your contact details like when paying with credit cards physically or online. This prevents misuse of your information or identity theft.

2.       Power efficient

A NFC enabled device consumes less power compared to a Bluetooth enabled device. Depending on the mode of NFC, only the initiator may consume power and the target will be powered by the initiator itself.

3.       Pairing is unnecessary

NFC erases the need to pair devices together. It also removes the need to enter codes to access the other device.

4.       Secure and more reliable

A NFC enabled device is more secure and reliable. The connection between the two devices is stable unlike in Bluetooth. Because it doesn't need to enter a code, there's also no risk of a third party or person gaining access to the devices.

5.       Two-way communication

It can send and receive data, both at the same time whereas a Bluetooth enabled device can only send or receive data one at a time. It cannot do both at the same time.

6.       Faster access

You just have to tap the devices together to gain access so it makes it much easier and faster to setup a connection.


1.       Slower transfer rate

NFC is not faster than a Bluetooth enabled device. The transfer rate is slower. Its transfer rate is at 424 kb/s whereas the transfer rate for Bluetooth v 2.22 is 2.1 Mb/s.


NFC versus QR codes 

It appears tQR codesCredit: Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.nethat QR codes are starting to be replaced by NFC. Google replaced QR code with NFC for its Google Places and it will be using NFC for its wallet services also. Wallet services by the way simply refer to an online alternative to the traditional physical wallet and cash type of payment. It can be comparable to the function of credit and debit cards which takes the place of cash money for a cashless transaction. Except that it is not physical, but is exclusively available over the web only. Wallet services are your virtual cash for safekeeping and for processing payment transactions online. You can either make a payment or receive a payment. As for the amount of money available in the e-wallet, you load it by depositing an amount through your debit or credit card.

Going back to QR versus NFC, it's not that QR is bad. Simply put, NFC is better. You can scan NFC seamlessly whereas you will need to hold the device steadily to scan a QR code. But both QR and NFC can redirect to different URLs or show different texts. Also, you need to tap the devices with your mobile phone to make payments using NFC. But with QR, you need to make payment through a third party like PayPal.

However, they are both combined to form a unique tag. Typtag[1554] is a unique tag which combines both NFC and QR. Typtags are used in POS (Point-of-Sale) terminals and Smart Posters. Typtags can be read or scanned by a device that either supports NFC or QR. So, a typtag can be read by a device with NFC by tapping the devices together or can be scanned by a QR reader which will redirect them to a URL or display text.

The introduction of NFC to the mobile world will not replace Bluetooth nor QR. It is however, a better alternative to both.