There is a better way to create a business card, and that’s using NFC. It’s the same technology that powers Apple Pay, yet it turns out that NFC chips are cheap to buy and easy to customize for your own purpose.
With an NFC business card, you can tap it to a smartphone and it will automatically display a page with links to your contact details, social media, or website. You will never have to worry about printing another batch of cards the next time you update your details; from now on, that can all 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 needing Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, so long as they are within range of about 4 inches.
Since NFC chips are extremely small, they can be embedded into all sorts of different objects or devices. As we mentioned earlier, Apple Pay uses NFC, and many smartphones are NFC-enabled across both Android and iOS platforms.
The fun part is, you can also buy plastic cards or tags that have blank NFC chips inside. They don’t hold a lot of memory, but they do have just enough space to insert a URL so that any smartphone that reads the NFC card is triggered to open a link. As you can guess, we can set the URL to open a page with your personal contact details, and voilà! You’ve got 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 You Need
To make this project, you will need to following items:
- X1 NTAG 215/216
- NFC Tools app
- An NFC-enabled smartphone
We also bought a pack of ten blank NFC cards, the size of a standard credit card, for less than $10. NFC cards can be bought from online marketplaces and come in bulk at a low cost. You can start your search off with the keywords NTAG 215, then 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 read/write apps out there, but for this project we are using NFC Tools by Wakdev.
There are several ways you can link someone to your contact details, depending on what digital platform you use. For professionals who already make use of 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 media (which often doubles as a work profile), so they can add you on the site they use most.
You can also choose to use your personal website as a 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.
Alternatively, why not add them all? That way, you can let them decide which platform is the most convenient to contact you on. In that case, LittleLink and Linktree offer catch-all mobile landing pages where you can have all your links collected in one place.
Option 1: Quick and Easy With Linktree
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 many links in one convenient place, and it has everything you need to create an NFC business card. Besides the ability to link to any social media account you want, it also has a dedicated function for contact details.
To add your contact details to your Linktree page, go to the Links page, click on Explore, then navigate to the Grow your following section and find Contact Details.
Once you’ve filled out your profile, click on the Share button in the top right-hand 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 spirit of DIY, we wanted to include an open-source option called LittleLink. Just like Linktree, it’s a simple landing page that hosts as many links to other websites as you want, only it’s free to use and won’t ask you to sign up with your personal details.
LittleLink requires some basic coding knowledge and uses GitHub and Vercel to deploy the project. A walk-through setup video is available on YouTube if you want to try it.
When you have finished customizing your LittleLink page, simply copy the link from the URL bar in your browser to use in the next step.
Option 3: A Single Link to Your LinkedIn or Personal Website
Not everyone has multiple public profiles that they use, so a single link to a primary platform or a personal website is enough to do the trick. LinkedIn is one site that fits the bill when it comes to creating a professional business card. Besides this platform, there aren’t many alternatives when it comes to a social networking site dedicated to work profiles and finding new jobs.
Before beginning, make sure you have the right LinkedIn visibility settings for your profile. Next, locate your profile URL by clicking Me > View Profile in the top right of the navigation bar. Once on your profile page, click on Contact info underneath 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 a lot easier than setting up your digital profile, as you will soon find out. Open the NFC Tools app and select Write from the main menu, then Add a record. From this list, select URL/URI, then enter a URL to your digital profile (from Step 1), and click OK in the top right-hand corner.
Next, click Write, then press the NFC card to the back of your phone. Hold it in place until you get a 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’s left is to check that your NFC business card works. Holding the card near a friend’s smartphone should be enough to trigger the link to appear, asking if they would like to open the URL in a web browser. From there, they will be able to see your digital profile, access your contact details, or check out your social media profiles.
The Last Business Card You Will Ever Need
Making an NFC business card is a satisfying mini-project that 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, simply pull out your NFC card and hold it near their phone to bring up a link with all your details.
Gone are the days of reprinting stacks of paper business cards each time you update your details. An NFC business card is the last one you will ever need.