QR Codes vs NFC Tags: Why QR Codes Are Better

By:  Vall
Update:  September 08, 2023
QR Codes vs NFC Tags: Why QR Codes Are Better

QR codes vs NFC tags may be a little different, but both function the same (stores information) and provide digital content to the user.

However, when choosing which technologies to use for your next marketing project or campaign, there is no one size that fits all. 

QR codes and NFC tags have their strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages when used for a certain purpose.

Thus, understanding these two differences is important as to which one to choose for your next project.

Furthermore, it also helps to understand how these technologies will be managed at scale.

In this article, we will delve into the differences between the two so you can make informed decisions on which one you should choose to enable your marketing materials with digital content.

QR codes and NFC Tags: Technologies that store information

What is a QR code?

A QR code or a Quick Response code is generated using a QR code online generator with a logo and can embed different types of information from videos, URLs, PDFs, images, URLs, redirection of QR codes to multiple data, and many more.

QR code

A QR code uses four standardized encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, and kanji) to store data efficiently; extensions may also be used.

A QR code is an image-formed type of technology that is accessible using smartphone devices and is scannable in horizontal and vertical dimensions.

When the QR code is scanned using smartphone devices, this will display data or information on the user’s smartphone screen directly.

QR codes can be printed on marketing materials and even distributed online.

These codes are scannable in offline materials and even when displayed online from a computer device. Thus, this makes them a smart choice to use for a dual marketing platform.

What is an NFC tag?

NFC stands for “Near Field Communication” and is a connecting technology based on RFID.

NFC is a mainstream wireless technology that enables short-range communication between compatible devices or between two NFC-enabled devices.


Just like other wireless signal like WI-FI and Bluetooth, NFC works on the principle of sending information over radio waves.

This uses electromagnetic induction in order to transmit information.

NFC-embedded objects such as NFC tags or chips do not need a power source.

An NFC chip is made up of small storage memory, a radio chip, and an antenna.

To access the information in the NFC chip work, it needs to have an NFC reading device, such as a smartphone. 

Two types of NFC devices?

Passive communication NFC devices like NFC tags

Passive NFC devices do not rely on power sources and can only connect to active devices. Passive NFC devices include tags and other small transmitters.

Types of nfc devices

NFC tags which contain small microchips, memory, and little antennas, are programmed with any information and then plopped into almost any product, letting you read them with a smartphone with the ability to scan NFC tags or another NFC-capable device.

To program information in your NFC tag, you need to download an NFC task launcher and decide what action you want to do when your phone taps the tag.

Active communication NFC devices

Active nfc device

Active devices (smartphone comes as the most common form of active NFC device) have a power source and can send and receive data.

Moreover, it can also communicate with other passive devices.

Comparison: QR codes vs NFC tags

Now that we have already defined QR codes vs NFC tags, the next question is, which one of them is better when it comes to:

Product Availability

A QR code is easily generated and is available right away using a QR code generator online like QR TIGER. QR codes can be generated right away, anytime. 

QR codes vs nfc tags

NFC tags need to be purchased first and are more costly compared to QR codes.

You will also need an NFC tag launcher app to launch an action in your NFC tag once tapped using a smartphone device.

There’s also an ongoing debate between QR code vs RFID on which is better for touchless communication in businesses.


QR codes can be customized in their patterns, and you can also personalize the colors and even add a logo of your company to build brand recognition.

You can do all the customization you need along with your QR creation.

QR code vs nfc

NFC tags’ appearance at first comes off as unimpressive, but these tags also offer complete freedom when it comes to design, and you can also have the option to hide the tag.

However, unlike the QR code that you can design right away using a QR code generator online, designing NFC tags might require you some time and skills or an expert when it comes to proper designing of the tags.

Error correction feature

QR codes are built to have an error correction feature in their design which still makes them scannable even though it’s a bit worn out or has been slightly damaged or even when it gets wet.

 QR codes can still work in any weather condition.

The higher the error correction level, the less storage capacity it has. The following table lists the approximate error correction capability at each of the four levels:

Level L (Low)  7% of data bytes can be restored.

Level M (Medium)       15% of data bytes can be restored.

Level Q (Quartile)[67] 25% of data bytes can be restored.

Level H (High) 30% of data bytes can be restored.

The QR code error correction feature makes it possible to create artistic QR codes that still scan correctly.

NFC tags, on the other hand, are vulnerable to damage, and they can break at any point in the supply chain and manufacturing process.

It should be tested and detected early on to prevent subsequent waste.

Like all radio technologies, NFC tags are unsuitable to work in the presence of water.

Investment cost

QR codes are obviously less expensive compared to NFC tags and cost little to no materials at all. 

NFC tags are more expensive, along with the chips that need to be encoded.

Production time spent

QR codes can be produced anytime using QR software online, and you don’t need to be a technical person to do so.

You can even generate a QR code in a matter of seconds.

QR code technology vs nfc

On the other hand, NFC tags are not as easy to procure as QR codes because of the microchips and other materials they come along with.

Moreover, you need to hire an NFC specialist to do it for you, order NFC tags, and the like. 

QR codes vs NFC tags: Accessibility of the data

QR codes can be accessed from a distance using a smartphone and do not need direct contact with the device to access the content.

QR codes are also scannable when printed and displayed online, allowing you dual-platform marketing.

QR code data

NFC technology has a radius of a mere 4 cm and cannot be accessed from afar.

Moreover, the data can only be accessed by tapping the NFC tag using the NFC-enabled smartphone device.

NFC vs QR code security

While there may be some QR code generators that are unreliable to use, the QR code software that is credible is easy to spot.

To look for a secured QR code generator, look for QR software that is GDPR compliant, SSL certified, and with a password protection feature.

Nfc vs QR code

With the NFC tags, the read range for communication between the NFC  tag and reader is only a few centimeters, this discourages most hackers from intercepting data transmissions which also makes them secure.

Data modification and data redirection to another content

The user can modify the content of his QR code to another information or landing page anytime, even after printing or deploying the QR code.

Just like QR codes, NFC tags can also be reprogrammed to other data.

Data tracking

QR code scans are trackable, which makes them ideal to use in marketing to gauge the overall success of your QR code campaign. 

In the user’s QR code generator dashboard, he can unlock his QR code data analytics and the demographics of his scanners. 

On the other hand, NFC tags are just used to share information, but the users who tap the NFC tags are not tracked.

Information that can be stored

Both QR codes and NFC tags store different types of information that are directly shared with the users.

NFC vs QR code infographic

Nfc vs QR code

QR codes vs NFC tags: Why QR codes are better to use?

QR codes and NFC can go hand in hand. They are no competitors to each other as they serve different benefits. 

However, when it comes to giving digital content to your marketing campaign, user experience and information availability must be considered first.

With the flexibility the QR codes provide and the direct availability of QR code software, generating a QR code is fast and easy to implement and requires little to no effort at all.

What’s even better is that if you generate a dynamic QR code, you can easily update the stored data anytime you want. And you can also track the overall data scans of your QR codes as well.

All these are available on your QR TIGER dashboard.

If you have more questions about how you can use QR codes in your marketing campaign, you can contact QR TIGER QR code generator for more information.

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