Disadvantages of NFC Business Cards

7 cons to consider when using NFC to replace paper business cards

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One thing people can count on from me is to get my honest opinion on something. If I like something, you’ll know. If I don’t like something, you’ll know. But this article isn’t about me liking or disliking something. I’m dumbfounded by why companies looking for “digital business cards” will even consider NFC products. So I’m going to be extremely blunt in this post and explain why I think NFC business cards suck and are a terrible choice for any business/company.

HiHello is the only company in the digital business card space that has never offered plastic NFC cards. Several companies in our space started by offering plastic NFC cards, buttons, bracelets, or what I refer to as NFC trinkets—these are usually plastic items that cost about 5-15 cents at scale, and they sell them for about $20 (Popl, Blinq, Mobilo, and Linq are just some examples). These companies have come to realize that HiHello's approach to building a software platform for digital business cards is better for businesses. So they’ve tried to copy what we’ve built. Some copied our app down to the pixel. Others copied our app’s features. Many copied our pricing page and our content. But one thing you can be certain of is that they all do it poorly.

HiHello is the only company in the digital business card space that has never offered plastic NFC cards

Here are my 7 reasons why NFC cards suck and why you should think about each one of these before making your choice:

1. NFC cards are inherently insecure.

You cannot secure an NFC card. Anyone with a smartphone can read it simply by bringing their phone close to the card. This puts what would otherwise be considered confidential personal information at risk of exposure. This is a clear and apparent risk for any enterprise company considering a secure digital business card platform.

HiHello’s approach is all digital. Your cards are stored safely and securely on your phone or watch. In order to share the card, the user must unlock their device so that their confidential personal information is only shareable when they intend to share it.

NFC cards are insecure

2. NFC cards can only hold one card.

You can only put one link on an NFC card. So, you must carry multiple NFC devices if you want multiple cards. And you would also have to pay for multiple NFC devices.

HiHello allows our users to create/have multiple cards available in the HiHello app on their phones. Furthermore, HiHello does not charge extra for multiple cards on our Business and Enterprise accounts. So now your salesperson can have a card in English and Spanish. Or your recruiter can have one card for technical recruiting and a different card for non-technical recruiting. With HiHello, users can have multiple cards and choose which card they want to share easily and quickly.

3. Plastic is less sustainable than paper.

Several companies consider moving to digital business cards as part of their commitment to sustainability. Replacing paper cards with plastic cards can be less sustainable. Paper will eventually biodegrade, but plastic will live on in the environment for years. If your company is trying to improve its carbon footprint, the best approach for digital business cards is not to rely on having a physical token.

HiHello's all-digital solution for business cards allows you to securely share your cards directly from your phone or watch.

NFC cards are unsustainable, and often un-recyclable

4. NFC cards introduce new logistics and administrative overhead.

If you are operating a company with hundreds or thousands of employees, you have created a new set of operational logistics by choosing to use a physical NFC token. Each NFC device has to be personalized to the individual who will be using it and then shipped/distributed to that individual. Simply keeping track of all the devices and whether they have been distributed to the right person is an inventory and asset management exercise.

With HiHello, there are no physical NFC cards to distribute. Each person simply logs in with their single-sign-on credentials, and their card is available and ready for use.

5. People forget to carry their NFC card and can also lose it.

Let’s face it. No one leaves home without their phone, and if you do, you’re going to go back to get it. But an NFC card is one more thing that you have to remember to carry with you. And if you forget it, that’s the same as forgetting to carry your paper business cards, leading to lost opportunities. If they lose their NFC card, that opens up a whole new internal process for requesting a replacement card, creating more work for the individual and the organization. Losing an NFC business card also creates the potential for a security issue since these cards cannot be secured or remotely deactivated.

With HiHello mobile apps available on iOS and Android, your cards are always with you, right there on your phone, when you need them.

Lost NFC cards

6. Not all devices can read NFC cards.

While most newer phones can read NFC cards, some do not have this feature enabled by default. To enable this feature, the user must go to the Settings app on their phone and turn it on. So if you’re trying to give your card to someone and they haven’t enabled this feature, they won’t be able to receive your card. Additionally, certain older phones don’t have NFC support, and that support cannot be added as a software update.

HiHello supports sharing your card via a QR code that can be scanned by the camera on almost any phone.

7. NFC cards cannot be shared remotely.

Whether you are meeting someone on a video call or merely exchanging emails, the physical NFC card is useless as it only functions when you are in person.

HiHello’s digital business cards can be shared remotely via email or text. When sharing over text, we even offer the option to “hide your phone number” so that the card is delivered from a HiHello phone number rather than revealing your personal/mobile number.


NFC business cards have the novelty factor of having a physical card and the experience of tapping the card on a phone to give your contact information. However, that novelty factor wears off quickly, and there isn’t much advantage to the physical token. In fact, there are several disadvantages, as we saw in the discussion above. The companies that offer physical NFC business cards are aware of this, so they have started offering their physical NFC tokens for free. They can’t get rid of them fast enough!

If you’re considering a software platform for digital business cards, we highly recommend using an all-digital solution like HiHello Business or HiHello Enterprise that is designed for use by companies of all sizes.

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