iOS Core NFC Framework for iPhone

Core NFC is Apple’s software development kit (SDK) for 3rd party apps to access NFC functionality on iOS based devices (iPhone) including reading and encoding NFC tags. Core NFC gives software developers low-level access to the NFC controller to perform direct operations on NFC chips via ISO 7816 and ISO 15693 as well as high-level NDEF based operations. All NFC Forum tag types are supported (Type 1 – Type 5). Besides working with NFC tags, Core NFC can be used to access Apple Value Added Service protocol for identification cards, passes and other Apple Wallet related uses.

ios core nfc ready to scan popup notification iphone read nfc tag

Core NFC Limitations

There are a couple limitations with Core NFC:

  • Apple does not allow payment related applications to use NFC functionality as this would be a direct competitor to Apple Pay
  • Available on iOS 13 and newer; not available on older devices and versions; see iPhone NFC compatibility
  • Only available on iOS based devices including iPhone and Mac Catalyst 13.0+; it is not available for the Apple Watch and other devices or via app extensions