What Are NFC Labels?

The packaging and labeling industry is undergoing a huge innovation push with something called Near Field Communication, or NFC labels. The labels have applications in everything from food safety to inventory control to gathering pinpoint consumer data.

NFC is a popular concept found within RFID technology. NFC is an additional form of radio frequency communication that is becoming more prevalent every day in a variety of applications. NFC offers many uses in labeling and packaging by digitizing communications between consumers, product manufacturers and retailers. One common use of NFC technology is utilized for mobile payment systems.

One of the main benefits of NFC technology is the speed and ease with which it transfers data. Plus, the labels do not need to be paired with other devices unlike Bluetooth.

How Does NFC Work?

There are three ways NFC chips work:

  • An active device (smartphone) receives information from an NFC tag. This is the primary use by the label and packaging industry.
  • NFC-enabled smartphones are utilized as a contactless credit card. We’ve all heard of Apple Pay and seen people using their phones to pay at the local convenience store.
  • When smartphones exchange data such as music, photos, etc…

Benefits of NFC Technology in the Label and Packaging Industry

NFC technology can offer many benefits to the labeling and packaging industry.  Some of these benefits include:

  • Collect valuable customer data There is no doubt that savvy NFC applications can gather useful data about consumer habits.  The more consumer information a company can accumulate the more accurately they can forecast customer demand. With NFC-technology urging customers to connect and interact, brands can track the where, what, why and when of consumer behavior at an extremely detailed level.
  • Unique customer interaction– NFC technology allows companies to send personal messages or other interactions to consumers that will separate them from competitors. This may come in the form of music or videos through smartphones. It could make a big point of differentiation when the consumer is making a buying decision.
  • Promotions – NFC permits the creation of marketing campaigns where the consumer can access sales, discounts, or simply additional information by holding their smartphone near an NFC tag.
  • Loyalty programs – Companies can attract and retain customers through buyer incentives broadcast over NFC technology. NFC tags will allow verification of only certain customers, veterans for example, who may qualify for prizes, making loyalty programs and giveaways extremely easy.
  • Inventory Control – Tracking product shipments and inventory with NFC technology is much easier than with paper and pen, allowing business managers to easily track distribution and make accurate calls on inventory control.
  • Identification: NFC can be utilized as an access control device in places where ID is required. This could include office buildings, government facilities, military bases and even private bars and restaurants.
  • Food Safety – The food industry could benefit from NFC technology. The tags can be used to sense heat and determine whether food has gone out of temperature or spoiled. This is a huge advancement that could have far reaching ramifications on the country’s food safety policy.
  • Anti-counterfeit – The labels are almost impossible to tamper with in any way. NFC technology will make it almost impossible for criminals to counterfeit goods. Again, a smartphone works in concert with the label and can check whether the product has been compromised.

NFC technology is increasing with many companies adopting the technology for various purposes. NFC labeling can improve your efficiency, productivity, employee resources and profits. Tamarack offers more than 50 years of experience in designing, engineering, and manufacturing offline and inline RFID insertion systems.

Tamarack® offers solutions for producing RFID labels, tickets, and tags with custom configurations to meet your specific requirements. Our technicians provide installation and testing to ensure that your equipment is operating correctly and ready to support your process. Contact us to speak with an engineer about the most efficient RFID inlay insertion system.