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Monday Poll: Do You Use NFC on Your Smartphone?


When first announced for Android devices, NFC was a pretty exciting feature. It allowed for tap-to-pay services to launch in stores, it brought Android Beam into existence, and allowed other devices to quickly connect to Android phones and tablets via Bluetooth with no user input needed. Times were good.

Now, in mid-2014, we find ourselves using NFC less and less. Services like Google Wallet and Isis haven’t been taking off like expected, and we find that the convenience of NFC isn’t actually worth having the feature enabled on our phones. Sure, it has its time and place, but for the most part, NFC is still kind of useless to most users.

Our question to you is, are you using NFC these days? Back in February of last year, we asked this same question, with the results not showing much love for NFC. 53% of people who answered said they did not use NFC, 33% said yes, and 14% of poll responders didn’t even have a phone with NFC built in.

It’s time to update our results. Share your experiences with NFC in the comments below, and tell us if you think there is something that could make NFC better or more desirable.

Do you use NFC on your smartphone?

View Results

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  • We don’t only use NFC, we love it. Check out this innovative application that uses NFC tags to tie a business card to a hosted vCard

  • Sean Bello

    The store down the street from my job takes NFC payments, so I use it frequently. I also use it to share pics I take with my friends when I’m out

  • fritzo2162

    Most of the places I go don’t accept it, otherwise I’d use it more.

    I used it once at McDonalds and the lady called the manager over because she thought I used some witchcraft hack to pay for my burger.

  • fish1552

    Part of the reason I don’t use it MORE is because almost nobody has the ewuipment for me TO use it more. Gas pumps, multiple credit cards, all POS machines, etc having it would almost guarantee more use.
    Example, I hit Dunkin Donuts each morning for coffee. They scan a QR code in their app which pays for that coffee. If I could just tap it to the corner of the machine and pay, it would be so much easier.
    It’s a catch 22. People don’t use it because it’s not common everywhere and in all devices, and companies don’t add it because people don’t use it.

  • LionStone

    Yep, I use it often… Transferring pics between devices, much faster than Bluetooth, and for sharing pics when I meet up with family/friends. I use tags and those work great and add a little convenience.

    I have ISIS on my stock DNA, it was loaded up with $50. to start with, my buddies RAZR M wasn’t compatible for some reason? I like that it gives you places that use Tap to Pay around you. Lots of good deals, add your loyalty cards if you have them, etc., just a couple I see right now are: $30. off select Bluetooth speakers at VZW; spend $25. at VZW get $15. back. It doesn’t show you list of last transactions though like Wallet does. To send money is a little more involved, redirects you to their website.

    When I use ISIS it tells me to set it as the default, because I have Wallet on my device too. It doesn’t matter I could still use Wallet. But it’s just silly to have that default message. If I select ‘Wallet’ in Tap to Pay Settings, it simply allows me to input my pin. I love the ease of sending money. Just last night sent my buddy that ‘2 dollars’, he’s been after me about for the last 20 years

  • TimTheK

    I would use it, but it doesn’t support merchant type categories for credit card rewards. If I were to use NFC via Wallet, I would get 1% back on ALL transactions…..but I wouldn’t get 5% back at supermarkets and gas stations. They would default to 1%. We charge EVERYTHING so that adds up to hundreds of $’s per year cash back.

  • MustWarnOthers

    I use NFC when I can with my Nexus 5. I personally love the fact that I don’t have to carry around the few extra credit cards that are used only at certain stores. My Wife and I use the Banana Republic/Gap card only at those stores, and those stores happen to have NFC in most places so the plastic is pointless to carry.

    The biggest hurdle to using NFC is that retailers simply have not updated their card readers. On top of that, lots of retailers that have the hardware for NFC don’t even have the upper half of the terminal turned on to accept payments.

    You will see a massive change in this come end of 2014 into 2015. There are new mandates coming (not specifically laws or regulations yet) for Financial Institutions as well as Retailers that will force them to adopt EMV/NFC/Smart Card Credit Cards.

    The basic premise is that at some point in 2015, whichever side of the transaction is not smart card capable (readers for the Retailers, Smart Card Debit/Credit Cards for the Financial institutions) will be responsible for fraudulent charges for transactions. This gives retailers and financial institutions a kick in the pants to get them moving towards secure/future technology. Our Credit Union is currently in the early stages of Smart Card implementation. As with any technology, I assume that one of the major processors will try and monopolize the market and push others out the same way Verizon/AT&T attempted with ISIS. Visa and Mastercard may get into some war in the Smart Card market, but as far as I know if a retailer is putting in a Smart Card capable reader, it will be future proofed to work with Visa/Mastercard/NFC Smartphone technologies.

    If everything goes as planned, you will eventually be able to use NFC everywhere, which will be awesome.

  • Bill_Surowiecki

    Id a say a good deal of common user, do in fact use NFC. I just dont think they use it as often as your article has slanted the topic.
    NFC is quickly becoming a standard in things such as Portable Speakers or Stereo Equipment this year. In these cases they are very much like WPS on wifi routers. Basically is a function that gets used once, and then forgotten, until you need to connect to another device again.

    With this said, I in no way would rather they remove NFC just because I do not use it on a daily basis. I would say the same for WPS.

    You could argue that another technology with a longer range might be more useful, or create more use cases. Then again, the longer the range, the larger the security risk.

  • Eric Sorensen

    I thought I would hate ISIS, since what they did to Google Wallet, but AMEX gave me $25 free on their Serve card, plus at the snack and drink machine at work, I get $5 in free junk for ever 4 purchases. This has gone on for several months, and I can’t complain.

  • DCABuckeye

    I use it with Sony Play Memories and my RX100 II camera. Flawless! That’s about it.

  • Raven

    When I got my Moto X it was my first phone with it and NFC was a kind of like a neat new toy. I even ordered one of those Moto Skip things with it to use for unlocking. I used it for about a month and then lost interest. I have never paid for anything with NFC on my phone. Maybe if somewhere like our local WalMart got it I would be more tempted.

  • wh1te_mag1c

    I don’t use it because there are no good uses for it – yet. There could be many, however. E.g. – vending machines. The technology does not need to be limited to paying for your burger or at the checkstand at Walgreens.

  • imnotmikal

    Used it to pair my Moto X to my Moto Stream this morning. 🙂

    • TopXKiller

      How is the Moto Stream? Do the lights look cool?

      • imnotmikal

        It looks pretty cool. Not sure if it was worth $50 but whatever. I work in cubicles in a warehouse. My 2 “cubemates” are paired to it, connected to a few sets of speakers and we’ll just jam out with it.

  • ecorea

    Everyday 🙂

    Purchased two HomeSpot NFC/Bluetooth receivers to make some of my speakers wireless. One for my car, and one for my living room. Excellent quality for the price and very convenient. Tap and I’m connected and playing music.


    • JSo

      That’s an interesting little device. I may keep my eye on that.

    • wh1te_mag1c

      Does it offer anything over a bluetooth-only speaker setup?

      • ecorea

        Not really. Convenience maybe? If you already have a bluetooth speaker, I wouldn’t bother. I used this product to make my non-bluetooth speakers wireless, basically. It was an added bonus that it included NFC.

  • JSo

    ALL the time. I bought myself some NFC tags and use trigger to set certain profiles when I tap them. The one at work, I use the most. Tap it when I get there to silence my phone and other stuff and tap it when I leave to set it back to normal. If I see a friend or family member that has a phone that I know has NFC and we are all together taking pictures, I tell them to put there phones up and I tap it and send them a picture. Most of the time, they are surprised they can do that. Lol. And I use Google Wallet whenever I can. NFC is one of my favorite features. I hope more can be done with it in the future.

  • Voyageur

    Used Isis a few times but the display doesn’t show you exactly what the transaction amount is. I ended up getting overbilled so I had to go back to the business to get a refund. If they would make the process a bit more clearer to the end user, I might use it more.

    • ki11ak3nn

      This is why I want to use Google Wallet but I can’t on My T-Mobile G2 even though it has kit kat. I don’t know what the problem is.

      • Voyageur

        I would prefer to use Google Wallet but as Verizon has crippled it on their phones and I haven’t seen any businesses in my area that accept Google Wallet, I’m stuck with Isis for now. 🙁

        • ki11ak3nn

          That sucks. When I had my G2 rooted I was able to use Google Wallet everywhere I could with Isis. And it seemed faster and easier to use. I don’t know why these carriers are screwing with our phones.

    • LionStone

      Well you could always ask what the amount is first? Or if you swipe the card around, it gives you the balance there, so you can see what was deducted, but I do agree, it needs work. I like Wallet how it gives you the list of last transactions right up front!

  • yankeesusa

    Use it all the time with google wallet, now that home depot and petco use it its even more useful, besides using it at cvs and dozens of gas stations not to mention I think walgreens finally activated their units. And by the way, it doesn’t drain the battery like people say. Of course it does a little just like bluetooth and gps but not enough to make a difference.

  • Chris

    Nope. Also a huge battery hog. I turned it off..

    • yankeesusa

      Its not a battery hog for me. I turned it off for a week to test and the didn’t notice a difference. Bluetooth and wifi hog more than nfc.

    • MasterEthan

      It’s no a battery hog. Sounds like somethings wrong if that’s the case. Your wifi, bluetooth, or cell chip takes more battery and even when the phone’s screen is off. NFC is only on if the screen is on (unless you’ve changed it using root access apps). But a funny thing I noticed is somewhere someone has gotten this crazy idea in their heads at the stores and they’re telling customers this. A few people I know when they bought a phone at Best Buy, they setup the phone and disabled bluetooth and nfc, also told them it drains battery and that they should keep wifi on always though as it won’t drain the battery….

  • chris kilps

    only for nfc unlock

  • AlexKCMO

    Google Wallet? All the time. Airports, Hess, CVS, Whole Foods, Macy’s, PetCo, I use it everywhere it’s available so it’s visible there’s a demand. I make most of my purchases through my Debit/Credit card.

    NFC/Android Beam? Not so much. I got a great picture of my friend’s wife at a party doing something embarrassing, and NFC’d it to everyone and it was pretty awesome. Other than beaming a picture of my wife to her so she can Facebook post it (under her account), not very often.

    I kept saying I was going to buy a Smart Lock with NFC when I bought a house, and now that I have the house, the door needs to be fixed/replaced to get use out of the lock (locking requires pushing the door and turning the key – a Smart Lock needs to be able to lock on it’s own), so I’ve put that off.

    Smart tags seem like an awesome idea, but buying Tasker and setting them up honestly seems like too much of a hassle.

    It’s great tech, but hasn’t caught on because of the stupidity of the manufactures. Samsung put their custom S-Beam that doesn’t play nice (though technically works) with Android Beam, and other manufacturers don’t advertise it (most people I talk to think it’s something only a Galaxy can do). Also, the last time I ran a stock ROM, NFC was disabled by default. WTF? It’s not going to take off like that.

    That said, I don’t think Apple’s WiFi version has done much better either. I’ve never heard an Apple person bragging about their ‘whatever it’s called’.

  • Kyle Sounhein

    I use it every day with a pair of headphones with nfc

  • bionicwaffle

    It’s a great way to share photos. Most people don’t know it’s cross platform too…it works for sending contacts and URLs to/from Windows Phone. I’d probably use it for purchases more if more stores would take it. Most don’t where I live and even many with readers don’t have them enabled/configured/allowed.

  • patrick

    I have a tag on my keyboard at work to make all the changes on my phone for bluetooth, wifi, volume, brightness and screen timeout. Another in the Car to put it back in “normal” mode. If you come to my house, there’s a tag by the door to connect to my wireless which is a hidden SSID.

  • Guest
  • stabone

    My girlfriend and I use NFC to send pictures we take. That’s about it… I don’t mean those kind of pictures.

    • Kevin

      uhhhhh huh

    • Chris

      Uh huh….

      Most use text or a Messenging service…… Who uses NFC for that crap especially if you are right next to each other

      • stabone

        Her phone’s messed up and for some reason can’t get pictures texted to her. We also find it faster.

  • Charles Walker

    I used to enjoy NFC Google Wallet on my Sprint Moto X, but I lost the luxury when switching to T-Mobile since they block it. 🙁

  • I guess I’ll have to vote yes, even though I very rarely use it. Last time I used it was to pair my Bluetooth headset 2 months ago.

  • jim

    I get my revenge on Verizon by not ever using isis

    • bionicwaffle

      Do you have any idea the kinds of promotions they ran for using Isis wallet? I got around $200 cash back just for using Isis to buy gas for about 3 months. To me, that was worth it.

      People slam Isis wallet for no good reason. Yes, it’s stupid and evil that Verizon blocks Google Wallet and it took them years to make Isis wallet available but it works fine and I got a ton of cash back for using it. I’m not aware of any great promos now unless you’re able to use it often for small purchases. Most places near where I live don’t take it.

      • Fooer

        What’s the price of a soul these days? 😉
        You literally just said: “Man, Verizon is evil, but I don’t really care when they give me money to make up for it”

  • burntcookie90

    chicago ventra + google wallet = easy transit

  • jim

    We were supposed to be able to use it on Verizon after we got Kitkat , but Verizon saw that that didn’t work , note 3

    • Jared Denman

      It works for my friends note 3 on Verizon

  • spudskier

    How about another option: Would use it if there was anywhere TO use it

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  • Quint

    I’ve only used it a handful of times to test. Most places have dead readers or I can never hit the sweet spot. Also, Isis is a pain. We should be able to use whatever card we want. Not having a choice is what holding payment systems down. I’ve never tried to use NFC to send info to another device, because I never had the chance to do so.

    • ddh819

      why is it a pain? i have a verizon nfc phone but never set it up, was wondering what the downside was before doing so

      • Quint

        Too many strings like lack of card options. One shouldn’t have to have certain cards to partake in NFC payments.

        There isn’t much of a downside setting up, especially if you can get one of those AMEX Serve cash incentives.

  • Ben Morris

    The wife and I beam pictures all the time

    • Chris

      Next to each other

  • I don’t use it for payments yet, but do use it in combination with nfc stickers. My dock on the nightstand has one, which puts the phone to sleep and sets the alarm. The dock on my computer desk has one to switch on the desk lights and computer. In the car to turn on BT and start nav. At work to turn off sleep.

  • Ryan

    I use NFC at a few places where I can. Whataburger in particular is one place I love to go to because of the reactions. I’ve actually gotten to know a couple people there that know exactly how I’m going to pay there. Other times, I wow them all the time.

  • Muhammed Kadir Yücel

    But sometimes for fast file transfer I use S Beam between Samsung Galaxy’s. For example I cant transfer between Samsung and Sony many times. Samsung crashes many times.

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  • Jay

    I would use it all the time if I actually saw places I could. I hope that one day people will use the melon on their neck for something besides siting on and make this method more available. The idea of putting it on gas pumps is excellent.

    • yankeesusa

      google wallet is accepted at many places, cvs,hundreds of gas stations, petco, home depot, whole foods,macy’s, pollo tropical which is all over florida especially in orlando and down south, airports and now walgreens i think not to mention it alerts you to discounts or coupons.

  • Eikast

    Um. I used Google wallet once on my HTC One M8 to feel cool and use Google wallet at Walgreens. The cashier said that he didn’t even know that they had Google wallet service lol. That was pretty much it. Much faster for me to take my card out than to take my phone out enter my password then enable NFC and open up Google wallet then tap to pay.

  • Christopher Garofalo

    Yup, I use it with Google wallet on my RAZR HD for fun to make payments lol. Love when the cashiers are like “whoa! I never saw someone use that before awesome!!”

  • Curious

    I would like to try it but I wonder about how secure it is and how many retailers use it?

  • drublin

    How do you even know if a business accepts using it to pay? Does it work with all the MyPass card readers that you don’t have to swipe your card on?

    • Ryan

      I’ve actually found out that even though some businesses might have a NFC terminal, there may be a few that do not accept NFC payments to begin with. Kinda found that out the hard way, and one would think Best Buy would be all for it. But nope, they’re not.

      Anyway, http://www.mastercard.us/cardholder-services/paypass-locator.html <- that tool there would allow you to find various places that accept NFC payments.

      • yankeesusa

        Best buy stopped it about 2 years ago do to a spat they had with mastercard about fees. But they did accept it at one point. If walmart started accepting it this would go crazy mainstream

  • ki11ak3nn

    I would use it if I could get Google Wallet on my phone!! Isis is alright, but I remember GW being so much easier and faster to use. But I haven’t used it since I last rooted my G2. Which in turn wouldn’t let me use Isis. So for now I’m enjoying my free Cokes and Jamba Juice with Isis until I can get GW back on my phone.

    • yankeesusa

      On most kitkat phones google wallet will work no matter what company.

      • ki11ak3nn

        I know that. Tell that to T-Mobile though. I had a Note 3 before the Kit Kat update. I wonder if I would have had it on my Note 3.

        • yankeesusa

          the note 3 is different for some reason. For some reason google is the one not supporting the note 3 after the kitkat update. it has to do something with the hce specs. The note 4 should be good to go. The s4 and s5 work.

          • ki11ak3nn

            I’m also guessing that there aren’t that many G2 owners out there so T-Mobile/Google didn’t want to support it. Everyone I know either has an M7/M8, S4/S5, or a Moto X. That’s it. And those people don’t even know about Google Wallet. It pisses me off.

          • yankeesusa

            Actually the g2 on tmobile works with google wallet, my friend got an update that allowed it to work.

          • ki11ak3nn

            Sorry man, but I don’t believe anyone who says it works on a T-Mobile G2. I asked people on reddit who have a T-Mobile G2 to upload a screenshot of tap to pay working in GW. To no avail. I’m on 4.4.2 and haven’t gotten an update since the Kit Kat update. I’m not rooted. Pure stock. So I’ll believe someone once I see proof.

          • yankeesusa

            Just asked him, he has att not tmobile and his tap and pay works. It started working after an update to fix tap and pay was pushed to it. I guess tmobile decided not to do the same update. I’m on tmbile and this is a reason why I chose nexus 5.


  • MrWicket

    everyday when I get in my car and every chance I get when a store has NFC as a option, still love the looks on peoples faces when I use it.

    • Jprime

      how do you use it in the car? i would like to try it

      • MrWicket

        I have a NFC tag on my key chain (you could just put a tag in the car alternatively) and I have it set to launch car mode, change volumes and a few other things. When I get out of the car I tap the NFC again and it puts everything back to normal, works brilliantly!

      • Guest

        I have a NFC tag on my keychain that I tap when I get in and out of the car. It launches car mode and sets things up how I like them for being in the car (you can set it up how you want) and when I tap it when getting out of the car it sets everything back to the way it was. works great.

  • paul_cus

    Never use it. I forget my phone even has NFC half the time.

  • Stephen Fronda

    It would be easier to use if carriers weren’t blocking Google Wallet in favor of an extremely limited Isis.
    I want to use my cards, not be forced to use a very limited Amex Card….

    • LionStone

      I can load the Amex card very easily with my checking account that is tied to it.

    • yankeesusa

      If you have kitkat most phones will now work

  • landon

    I used it on a mall directory once in Miami 😛

  • Suman Gandham

    Yes… I would like to find more things to do with it though!