- Date of Birth
- Biometric Information
NFC-enabled devices can read the data stored in the tag. If the tag only works as a business card or ID, then introductions will be more seamless. If the tag works as an access control card, then only authorised people can access a secure location or device as the reader reads the cardholder's identity. Implementing this as part of a two-factor authentication process further improves security in case a card gets stolen. NFC tags are extremely useful in verifying people's identities, and we'll talk more about them and their different possible use cases in this article.
NFC as an ID
Both casual users and business officials can use NFC cards as IDs, calling cards, and digital business cards, depending on what they program to the tag. This is extremely useful for entrepreneurs, business owners, and freelancers who need to introduce themselves since they can provide all relevant details and even a link to their website with a single tap. NFC cards as identification have plenty of practical applications, with one being a company-issued ID that verifies the cardholder's identity when checked by security. This can easily double as a business card when employees are sent to meet clients. In the education sector, the students can be given NFC ID cards programmed with their name, student ID, and the current school year to keep impersonators from entering school buildings. This is also useful for former students by ensuring that only currently enrolled students can enter or allowing alumni certain privileges.
NFC for Onboarding Identity Verification
Initial onboarding is one of the most critical moments to verify a user’s identity since this can effectively keep fraudsters out. If fraudsters get past the onboarding process, it won't be easy to sniff them out with analytics and other methods. Many organisations require new users to present government-issued IDs and official documents for the verification process. Using NFC tags will be useful in the onboarding process. Requiring new users to show their IDs won't work well when in remote environments since fraudsters can forge documents, and submitting falsified documents will be easier as it’s harder to detect forgeries and copied documents. Because more countries are issuing smart ID cards and e-passports with embedded chips, it is now even more possible to use NFC technology for identity verification. New users can upload an image of their smart ID and then scan the card’s NFC chip using their smartphone to verify the information. Combining this with another identity verification method will further guarantee that the person onboarded is the actual user and cardholder. Using NFC should be more of a necessity these days since fraudsters have already managed to develop different ways to identity verification checks using synthetic identity fraud. This involves using chunks of factual information alongside fake information, allowing fraudsters to create convincing counterfeit IDs. Requiring NFC-based authentication as part of the onboarding process will effectively keep fraudsters from getting past onboarding. Additionally, NFC technology can be used to comply with any applicable Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.
NFC as Access Control Cards
Using NFC to verify someone's identity and grant access to certain facilities and devices is a good idea. Even inside companies, some areas may contain sensitive files and items that not everyone should have access to, and it might be necessary to have the means to restrict access to unauthorised personnel. Issuing unique NFC cards or even wearables to certain employees can be an effective means to allow authorised employees to access a room or a certain device and restrict others. This might even work to lock a computer and keep pranksters and bad actors from accessing someone’s personal or work computer. NFC access controls are more widely seen in condominiums where tenants are given an NFC card to grant access to their rooms. Anyone who isn’t a tenant or authorised staff can enter the room, which effectively secures the room from thieves and burglars.
Pros and Cons of NFC for Identity VerificationNFC is a convenient technology for identity verification, with multitudes of advantages for its users. The technology indeed has plenty of advantages, but it also comes with several disadvantages that might dissuade companies from adopting the technology for their day-to-day use.
- Simple – The only interaction required to use NFC is a tap of a device and the tag, making the experience extremely intuitive. Right now, most modern smartphones come with NFC as standard functionality, allowing more people to access the technology.
- Fast – Because it only takes a tap for an NFC tag and device to communicate, transmitting information and verifying identity will also be fast. The onboarding process can be made faster when utilising NFCs.
- Secure – Any data stored inside an NFC tag will remain safe, even if there are hackers who seek to steal the information. The tag can't be tampered with, and hackers must be extremely close to the tag to read the data inside. Even if the hacker is close, RFID blocking should be enough to thwart them. No one’s credentials should be easily stolen as long as the tag is secure behind RFID blocking wallets.
- Prevents fraud – When users are required to verify their identity with government-issued or company-issued smart ID cards, the chances of falsifying the information are low. This is especially the case when users are issued non-rewritable NFC tags since legitimate tags will likely be programmed with unique properties that make it hard to falsify.
- Relatively expensive – Using NFC technologies will require companies to invest in NFC tags, cards, card printers, extenders, readers/writers/encoders, and even NFC-enabled smartphones if companies don’t allow BYOD or Bring Your Own Device. Small businesses might not be able to integrate NFC into their day-to-day operations fully. Still, a limited adoption like only using NFC readers for contactless payments may be better for small shops or to use NFC tags to share Wi-Fi connections.
- Unfamiliar technology – NFC-based verification is still relatively new, so many people won't know much about the technology. It's more likely for people to have doubts about the reliability of NFC-based verification.