There’s a better way to create a business card, and that’s by using NFC. It’s the same technology that powers Apple Pay, but it turns out that NFC chips are cheap to buy and easy to customize for your own needs.
With an NFC business card, you can tap it on a smartphone and it will automatically bring up a page with links to your contact details, social media, or website. You’ll never have to worry about printing another batch of cards the next time you update your information; from now on, all of this can be done digitally.
How it works
The purpose of NFC technology is all in the name: Near-Field Communication. Basically, it allows two electronic devices to communicate with each other, without the need for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, as long as they are within range of about 4 inches.
Because NFC chips are extremely small, they can be embedded in all sorts of different objects or devices. As we mentioned earlier, Apple Pay uses NFC and many smartphones are NFC-enabled on both Android and iOS platforms.
The fun part is that you can also buy plastic cards or tags that contain blank NFC chips. They don’t contain much memory, but they have just enough space to insert a URL so that any smartphone that reads the NFC card will be triggered to open a link. As you might guess, we can set the URL to open a page with your personal details, and voilà! You have your own NFC business card.
If you want to know more about NFC technology, read our article explaining the Differences between NFC and Bluetooth.
What do you need
To complete this project, you will need the following items:
- X1 NTAG 215/216
- NFC Tools app
- An NFC-enabled smartphone
We also picked up a pack of ten blank NFC cards, the size of a standard credit card, for less than $10. NFC cards can be purchased from online marketplaces and are sold in bulk at low cost. You can start your search with the keywords NTAG 215then choose the shape, size and color of the NFC card you want to use.
To write your NFC card, you will need an app. There are many NFC reader/writer apps out there, but for this project, we’re using Wakdev’s NFC tools.
There are several ways to link someone to your details, depending on the digital platform you use. For professionals who already use digital business card apps, you can get a shareable link to your contact details. However, these days it’s easier to link someone to your social network (which often serves as a business profile), so they can add you to the site they use the most.
You can also choose to use your personal website as the landing page; for artists who have digital portfolios, this might be the best option. Another method is to link someone to your LinkedIn page, Twitter or Instagram profile.
If not, why not add them all? This way, you can let them decide which platform is most convenient to contact you on. In this case, LittleLink and Linktree offer catch-all mobile landing pages where you can collect all your links in one place.
Option 1: Quick and easy with Link tree
Linktree is a freemium service often used in YouTube or Instagram bios to help people find more information about you. It’s become one of the easiest ways to host lots of links in one convenient place, and it has everything you need to create an NFC business card. Along with the ability to link to any social media account of your choice, it also has a dedicated feature for contact details.
To add your contact information to your Linktree page, go to the Links page, click Explorethen access the Grow your audience section and find Contact details.
Once your profile is completed, click on the To share button in the upper right corner of the navigation bar. Your Linktree URL will be at the bottom of this menu, which you will need for step two.
Option 2: Open source alternative using LittleLink
In keeping with the DIY spirit, we wanted to include an open-source option called LittleLink. Much like Linktree, it’s a simple landing page that hosts as many links to other websites as you want, but it’s free to use and won’t require you to register with your personal information.
LittleLink requires basic coding knowledge and uses GitHub and Vercel to deploy the project. A step-by-step setup video is available at Youtube if you want to try it.
When you’re done customizing your LittleLink page, simply copy the link from your browser’s URL bar to use in the next step.
Option 3: A unique link to your LinkedIn or personal website
Not everyone has multiple public profiles that they use, so a single link to a main platform or personal website is enough to do the trick. LinkedIn is a site that does the trick when it comes to creating a professional business card. Besides this platform, there are not many alternatives when it comes to a social networking site dedicated to work profiles and finding new jobs.
Before you begin, make sure you have the correct LinkedIn visibility settings for your profile. Next, locate your profile URL by clicking Me > View profile at the top right of the navigation bar. Once on your profile page, click on Contact information under your profile picture to view and copy your page URL.
Step 2: Prepare the NFC card
Writing a URL to a blank NFC chip is arguably much easier than setting up your digital profile, as you’ll soon find out. Open the NFC Tools app and select To write from the main menu, then Add record. From this list, select URL/URIthen enter a URL to your digital profile (from step 1), then click OKAY in the upper right corner.
Then click on To write, then tap the NFC card on the back of your phone. Hold it there until you get confirmation that the write was successful. If you encounter an error message, start over and try again.
Step 3: Test your NFC business card
All that remains is to verify that your NFC business card is working. Holding the card near a friend’s smartphone should be enough to trigger the link to appear, asking them if they want to open the URL in a web browser. From there, they will be able to view your digital profile, access your contact details, or view your social media profiles.
The Last Business Card You’ll Ever Need
Making an NFC business card is a satisfying mini-project you can do at home. NFC chips are cheap to buy and turning one into a business card is an easy way to impress people. The next time you meet someone new and want to exchange contact details, just pull out your NFC card and hold it near their phone to see a link with all your contact details.
Gone are the days of reprinting stacks of paper business cards each time you update your contact information. An NFC business card is the last you will need.