How to enable your smartphone to read NFC tags

Both Android and Apple now offer their customers the ability to use their smartphones to read NFC tags.

Here’s how to activate NFC on your own smartphone:


  • Make sure you’re running the latest version of Android. The majority of new Android smartphones have an NFC chip in the phone.
  • Your phone’s NFC chip (and Android Beam) needs to be activated before you can use NFC:
    • Go to Settings > More
    • Tap on the NFC switch to activate it. The Android Beam function will also automatically turn on.
    • If Android Beam does not automatically turn on, just tap it and select Yes to turn it on.
  • Smartphones’ NFC capabilities operate in tandem with Android Beam. If Android Beam is disabled, it may limit NFC’s sharing capacity.


  • iPhones 7 and the more recent released models can read NFC tags and make NFC payments. However, no NFC support was added to iPhones 6 and 6S, yet it can be used to make NFC payments only. 
  • NFC is automatically enabled in Apple phones.