How Can Your Association Benefit from NFC?

As an association, finding ways to reach out to your members is vital. The easier and more convenient you make it for your members to communicate with you, the better for your association. That’s where NFC (Near Field Communication) technology can help you.  So what exactly is NFC, why does it matter to your association, and how can you use NFC to engage your members?

What is NFC?

NFC is a wireless technology that allows two NFC-enabled devices to communicate with each other, or an NFC-enabled device to communicate with an NFC tag. An NFC-enabled device is typically a smartphone, but may also be a tablet. An NFC tag is a small chip usually embedded in a sticker, on printed material, or inside a product.  NFC is activated simply by tapping the NFC-enabled smartphone against another NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet, or against an NFC tag, which results in a launched website, application, or information being downloaded to the smartphone.

Once a current or potential member taps their phone against your NFC tagged materials, it could lead them to:

  • Launch a web site, landing page or application
  • Pay for a purchase using the phone as a mobile wallet
  • Download important membership information
  • Share pictures or files between devices
  • Get to a sign-up page for membership

Why Does NFC Matter to Your Association?

NFC is quick and convenient for your members and prospects to use. For example, your members could get straight to their membership renewal page simply by tapping their phone against a flier, or buy tickets to your latest event simply by tapping a poster.

NFC is becoming increasingly commonplace in smartphones and tablets. As users are getting used to using NFC for quick and easy access to information, your association can capitalize by using NFC to communicate with them. Some popular devices that boast NFC technology are:

  • iPhone 6*
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790, 9900, 9930
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380
  • Google Nexus 10, 5, 7
  • Lenovo K800
  • Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2
  • Motorola Droid devices
  • Samsung Galaxy devices
  • Sony Xperia devices

For a complete list of NFC-enabled devices, please visit

*Currently, NFC in the iPhone 6 is restricted to Apple Pay, meaning that as of right now, iPhone 6 users cannot download images, articles, websites, or share contacts through NFC. However, this is just an initial implementation that is expected to change, so it’s important that your association is prepared and ready for an even larger number of users to begin utilizing NFC.

Ways You Can Use NFC to Engage Your Members

Your association can make good use of NFC by making it quick and easy for your members to get where you want them to go. NFC gives you an effective way to reach your members with one tap. NFC tags are cost effective and easy to apply to printed materials or materials such as signage or even your booth at a conference or other event. So long as your members can easily reach to tap it with their smartphone, you can use NFC.

Here are some places your association can make use of NFC:

  • Marketing materials – tap the direct mail piece to launch a web page for more information or to download an information pack
  • Membership packs – tap the flier or brochure to enter a community portal or personalized page
  • Events –tap the booth or signage to learn more about your association and how it benefits its members
  • Networking – tap another phone to download an electronic business card or link to a website
  • Renewal – tap the paper reminder to launch the registration renewal page
  • Selling tickets –tap the poster to buy tickets to your upcoming event

NFC gives your association a quick and engaging way to encourage your members and prospects to respond to you. With one tap you can direct them to where you want them to go, meaning convenience for them and a way of building good member relationships for you.

For more information on how your association can utilize NFC for marketing to make your printed materials more interactive, check out John Foley, Jr.’s tips and demonstration video below.