Is it possible to scan RFID card with iPhone?

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology has become increasingly popular in recent years. It allows for the wireless transfer of data using electromagnetic fields, making it ideal for applications such as access control, inventory tracking, and contactless payment systems. With the widespread use of smartphones, many people are wondering if they can use their iPhones to scan RFID cards.

The short answer is no, iPhones cannot scan RFID cards out of the box. Unlike Android devices, which often have built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities, iPhones do not have a standard hardware component for RFID card scanning. However, this doesn’t mean that iPhone users are completely out of luck when it comes to RFID card scanning.

There are third-party accessories available that can add RFID scanning capabilities to iPhones. These accessories connect to the iPhone’s Lightning port or are designed to work wirelessly with the device. They usually come in the form of small card readers or attachments that can be easily carried around. By using these accessories and accompanying apps, iPhone users can scan RFID cards and access the same functionality as Android users.

It’s important to note that not all RFID systems are compatible with iPhone accessories. Different RFID protocols and frequencies may require specific hardware or software support. Before purchasing an iPhone RFID accessory, it is recommended to check if it is compatible with the specific RFID technology you intend to use.

Understanding RFID Cards and Their Uses

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) cards are a type of contactless smart card that use electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track objects or people. These cards contain a small chip and an antenna that can wirelessly transmit and receive data.

RFID cards are commonly used for various purposes in different industries. Here are some of the common uses of RFID cards:

  • Access Control: RFID cards are often used for access control systems in buildings, offices, and secure areas. With the swipe or tap of an RFID card, individuals can gain entry to restricted areas.
  • Identification: RFID cards can be used for personal identification, such as employee ID cards, student ID cards, driver’s licenses, and passports. These cards can store personal information and allow for quick identification and verification.
  • Inventory Management: In warehouses and retail stores, RFID cards are utilized for efficient inventory management. By tagging items with RFID cards, businesses can track their location, movement, and availability in real-time.
  • Payment Systems: Some RFID cards are used as contactless payment cards, allowing individuals to make quick and secure payments by simply tapping their cards on payment terminals.
  • Transportation: RFID cards are widely used in transportation systems, such as electronic toll collection and public transportation. These cards enable seamless and fast transactions at toll booths and subway turnstiles.
  • Asset Tracking: Companies often use RFID cards to track and manage their valuable assets, such as equipment, vehicles, and containers. This helps in preventing loss, theft, and unauthorized use.

Overall, RFID cards offer convenience, security, and efficiency in a wide range of applications. With the ability to store and transmit data wirelessly, these cards enhance various processes and provide enhanced control and management.

The Evolution of iPhone and NFC Technology

The iPhone, developed by Apple Inc., has undergone several advancements since its initial release in 2007. One of the notable developments in recent years has been the integration of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology into iPhones.

NFC technology allows for short-range communication between devices. It enables iPhones and other compatible devices to establish a wireless connection when they are in close proximity. This technology has proven to be highly versatile and has numerous applications in various industries.

Apple introduced NFC capabilities to iPhones with the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014. However, initially, the NFC technology on iPhones was restricted and could only be used for Apple Pay, the company’s mobile payment service.

Apple Pay revolutionized the way people make payments by allowing them to securely store their credit or debit card information on their iPhones and make contactless payments at supported locations using NFC technology.

In subsequent iPhone releases, Apple expanded the capabilities of NFC technology. With the introduction of iOS 11 in 2017, Apple opened up NFC read capabilities to third-party developers, allowing them to create apps that could interact with NFC tags and other NFC-enabled devices.

The NFC reader mode in iPhones enabled users to perform various tasks, such as scanning NFC-enabled labels or posters to access information, checking in for flights or public transportation, and interacting with smart home devices.

With the release of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR in 2018, Apple further enhanced the NFC technology on iPhones. These newer models allowed users to also experience background tag reading, which means that the device automatically reads an NFC tag when it is brought near without the need for launching a specific app first.

This advancement in NFC technology opened up possibilities for more seamless and convenient interactions between iPhones and NFC-enabled objects or environments.

In conclusion, the integration of NFC technology into iPhones has transformed the way users interact with their devices and the world around them. From making secure payments to accessing information and interacting with various NFC-enabled objects, iPhones have become a powerful tool for leveraging the capabilities of NFC technology.

Can iPhones Scan RFID Cards?

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technology that uses radio waves to automatically identify and track objects. RFID cards are commonly used for access control, payment systems, and inventory tracking.

While iPhones have various advanced features, such as NFC (Near Field Communication), they do not have built-in RFID functionality. NFC is a technology that allows devices to establish communication by bringing them close together. However, it is important to note that NFC and RFID are not the same.

RFID cards typically operate at a different frequency than NFC, which means that iPhones cannot directly read RFID cards without additional hardware or accessories. Therefore, if you want to scan RFID cards using an iPhone, you would need to use an external RFID reader or a specific accessory that supports RFID scanning.

There are third-party apps available on the App Store that claim to be able to scan RFID cards using an iPhone. However, these apps often require additional hardware to work properly. It is important to research and choose a reputable app and compatible accessory if you decide to pursue this option.

In summary, while iPhones have NFC capabilities, they cannot directly scan RFID cards without additional hardware or accessories. If you need to scan RFID cards, it is recommended to use a dedicated RFID reader or a specific accessory designed for this purpose.

Apps and Technology Required for Scanning RFID Cards with iPhone

Scanning RFID cards with an iPhone requires the use of specific apps and technology that are designed to recognize and read the RFID signals. Here are some of the key components needed:

  • RFID Reader: An RFID reader is a device that can send and receive RFID signals. It can read the unique identifier stored on an RFID card and transmit that information to the iPhone.
  • RFID Tag: An RFID tag is a small device that contains a microchip and antenna. It is attached to the RFID card and stores the unique identifier. The RFID reader interacts with this tag to read the information.
  • Mobile App: A mobile app is required to interface with the RFID reader and display the information read from the RFID card on the iPhone screen. The app needs to be compatible with the specific RFID reader being used.

There are several apps available on the App Store that can turn your iPhone into an RFID reader. These apps use the phone’s built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities to read and interact with RFID cards.

When scanning an RFID card with an iPhone, the process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Open the RFID scanning app on your iPhone.
  2. Enable the NFC feature on your iPhone.
  3. Hold the iPhone near the RFID card. The app will detect the RFID signal and read the unique identifier stored on the card.
  4. The app will display the scanned information on the iPhone screen, allowing you to view and use the data as needed.

It’s important to note that not all iPhones have built-in NFC capabilities, which are required for scanning RFID cards. To check if your iPhone is NFC-enabled, you can go to the Settings app, select “Touch ID & Passcode” or “Face ID & Passcode,” and if you see an option for “NFC” in the list, it means your iPhone has NFC capabilities.

Overall, scanning RFID cards with an iPhone requires a combination of an RFID reader, an RFID tag, and a compatible mobile app. With the right tools and technology, you can easily turn your iPhone into an RFID scanning device.

Step-by-Step Guide to Scanning RFID Cards with iPhone

Scanning RFID cards with an iPhone can be convenient and efficient. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to scan RFID cards using an iPhone:

  1. Find a compatible RFID scanner app: Start by finding and downloading a suitable RFID scanner app from the App Store. There are several options available, so make sure to choose one that is compatible with your iPhone model and operating system.
  2. Install the app: Once you have selected an app, click on the download or install button to install it on your iPhone. Wait for the installation process to complete.
  3. Open the app: Locate the app icon on your iPhone’s home screen and tap on it to open the RFID scanner app.
  4. Grant necessary permissions: Depending on the app, you may be prompted to grant certain permissions, such as access to the camera or certain data on your iPhone. Follow the on-screen instructions to allow the necessary permissions.
  5. Position the RFID card: Hold the RFID card in front of the iPhone’s camera, ensuring that the card’s RFID chip is facing the camera lens. Make sure the card is properly aligned and within the camera’s view.
  6. Scan the RFID card: Tap the “Scan” or “Start” button within the app to begin scanning the RFID card. The app will use the iPhone’s camera to capture the RFID card’s information.
  7. Wait for the scan to complete: Keep the card steady and wait for the app to complete the scanning process. This may take a few seconds or longer, depending on the app and the quality of the RFID card.
  8. View the scanned information: Once the scan is complete, the app will display the scanned information on your iPhone’s screen. This may include details such as the card’s unique identifier, cardholder’s name, or any other relevant data stored on the RFID chip.
  9. Take necessary actions: Depending on the purpose of the RFID card scan, you may be able to perform various actions within the app. For example, you may be able to save the scanned information, share it with others, or use it for further processing.
  10. Close the app: When you are finished scanning the RFID card, you can close the app by pressing the Home button or using the swipe-up gesture, depending on your iPhone model.

Congratulations! You have successfully scanned an RFID card using your iPhone. Repeat these steps whenever you need to scan an RFID card in the future.

Benefits and Limitations of Scanning RFID Cards with iPhone


  • Convenience: The ability to scan RFID cards with an iPhone offers a convenient way to access information or perform actions associated with the card, all in one device.
  • Portability: Carrying around an iPhone is much more convenient than carrying separate RFID card readers, making it easier to use the functionality of RFID cards on the go.
  • Versatility: An iPhone can support multiple RFID card applications, allowing users to access a variety of services or facilities with a single device.
  • Integration: By using an iPhone’s existing hardware and capabilities, scanning RFID cards can be seamlessly integrated with other apps and functionalities, enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Cost Savings: Using an iPhone to scan RFID cards eliminates the need for purchasing separate RFID card readers, potentially saving money for individuals or organizations.


  • Compatibility: iPhones may not be compatible with all types of RFID cards or card systems, depending on the specific RFID technology used. Some older or proprietary RFID card systems may not work with iPhones.
  • Range: The range at which an iPhone can scan RFID cards may be limited compared to dedicated RFID card readers. This could impact the convenience and effectiveness of using an iPhone for scanning certain types of RFID cards.
  • Reliability: The reliability of scanning RFID cards with an iPhone may be influenced by factors such as signal interference, battery life, or hardware/software limitations of the device.
  • Security: Depending on the specific implementation, using an iPhone to scan RFID cards may raise security concerns. There is a potential risk of unauthorized access or cloning of the RFID card information if proper security measures are not in place.

Summary of Benefits and Limitations:
Benefits Limitations
Convenience Compatibility
Portability Range
Versatility Reliability
Integration Security
Cost Savings


Is it possible to scan an RFID card with an iPhone?

Yes, it is possible to scan an RFID card with an iPhone using certain apps and accessories.

What apps can I use to scan RFID cards with an iPhone?

There are several apps available on the App Store that can be used to scan RFID cards with an iPhone, such as RFID Scan ScanWrite and iScan RFID/NFC Scanner.

Do I need any additional accessories to scan RFID cards with an iPhone?

Yes, you will need an external RFID reader or an NFC-enabled iPhone to scan RFID cards. These accessories can be purchased separately.

What can I do with the scanned RFID card information on my iPhone?

Once you have scanned an RFID card with your iPhone, you can use the information for various purposes, such as access control, inventory management, or identification.

Are there any limitations to scanning RFID cards with an iPhone?

Yes, there are some limitations to scanning RFID cards with an iPhone. For example, the range of the RFID reader may be limited, and not all types of RFID cards may be compatible with the reader.

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